Religions Guidance

Religious identity and development is an important part of life experience for many and affects how we all understand and interact with the world around us. The office of Equity and Diversity created a Religions guide and calendar to serve as a general educational and reference tool for our Omaha Public Schools community. It includes information for significant dates, practices and accommodations. The guide is intended to help expand understanding and strengthen relationships of the diverse religious and non-religious groups at Omaha Public Schools.

Make The Guide Work for You
  • Check dates before scheduling critical assignment, testing, events, or activities.
  • Accommodate observant individuals with reasonable support. Consider food and beverage restrictions when planning menus. Provide opportunities for time away from the classroom and work place. Allow time off and avoid important academic and workplace deadlines and activities.
  • Ask others how they commemorate their occasion. Many individuals affiliated with the same group observe one important day in various ways.
  • Discover new experiences and learn about the history, culture, and significance of the day with special foods, speakers, displays, and more.
Guide to Religions

The holidays and accommodations section of this guide is available to faculty, staff, students and community members as an educational resource about the many religious holy days celebrated in the community. Not only does this section offer crucial information about dates and practices, we also hope the information about recommended academic and food accommodations will be valuable to those planning classroom activities and other academic and co-curricular events.

Points to Remember
  • Dates are assembled from several calendars and begin with the academic year (August through July). Lunar calendars can vary based on region and practice.
  • Halal dietary restrictions apply: refers to the foods prohibited according to Islamic dietary law throughout the year. Restrictions include alcohol and pork.
  • Kosher restrictions apply: refers to the dietary guidelines of Jewish law which apply daily throughout the year. Restrictions include: pork, shellfish (fish is allowed) and mixing meat with dairy.

 

Major holidays/observances And
accommodations with academic calendar

 

There are nine annual Bahá'í holy days plus an annual fast. On holy days, Bahá'ís do not work and this is considered a sacrifice.
Two further special day are celebrated, but they are not considered holy days in that work is not suspended.

Birth of the Báb
Holiday with significant work restriction.

This holy day commemorates the birth of the Báb in 1819.

Recommended Accommodations:
Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. (Baha’i employees will likely request to have this day off.)

October 20, 2017
October 20, 2018
October 20, 2019


Birth of Bahá'u'lláh
Holiday with significant work restriction.

This holiday celebrates the birthday of Bahá'u'lláh, one of the Baha’i faith’s most important figures. For Bahá'ís, the Birth of Bahá'u'lláh is a Holy Day celebrating the rebirth of the world through the love of God, just as Christmas is for Christians.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. (Baha’i employees will likely request to have this day off.)

November 12, 2017
November 12, 2018
November 12, 2019


The Nineteen Day Fast
Holiday with significant work restriction.

The Nineteen Day Fast brings together the Bahá'ís of local community for prayer, reading of scriptures, discussion of community activities, and enjoyment of one another's company. The period of fasting is therefore viewed as a time of spiritual preparation and regeneration for a new year's activities. Bahá'ís between the ages of 15 and 70 should fast 19 days a year, going without food and drink form sunrise to sunset.

Recommended Accommodations: If possible, avoid scheduling major academis deadlines during this time. Be sensitive to the fact that students and employees will be fasting during the day light hours (continuously for 19 days) and will likely have less stamina as a result.

March 2-21, 2018
March 2-21, 2019
March 2-21, 2020


Naw-Rúz - Bahá'í New Year  (Begins at Sundown)
Holiday with significant work restriction.

This is the Baha’i New Year, a traditional celebration in Iran adopted as a holy day associated with Baha’i. It is a celebration of spring and new life.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. (Baha’i employees will likely request to have this day off.)

March 21, 2018
March 21, 2019
March 21, 2020


First Day of Ridván - Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh
Holiday with significant work restriction.

The Festival of Ridván is a 12-day period commemorating Bahá'u'lláh's declaration of his mission on the eve of his departure from Baghdád for Constantinople in 1863. The first day commemorates his arrival in the Najíbíyyih Garden, where his declaration took place. Local and National Spiritual Assemblies are elected on this day. Commemorations of this day should be held at about 3:00pm.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. (Baha’i employees will likely request to have this day off.)

April 21, 2018
April 21, 2019
April 21, 2020
 

Ninth Day of Ridván
Holiday with significant work restriction.

This holiday commemorates the arrival of members of Bahá'u'lláh's family in the Najíbíyyih Garden.

Recommended Accommodations:
Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. (Baha’i employees will likely request to have this day off.) 

April 29, 2018
April 29, 2019
April 29, 2020


Twelfth Day of Ridván
Holiday with significant work restriction.

This holiday commemorates the departure of Bahá'u'lláh for Constantinople and brings to a close the Festival of Ridván.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. (Baha’i employees will likely request to have this day off.) 

May 2, 2018
May 2, 2019
May 2, 2020


Declaration of the Báb
Holiday with significant work restriction.

The Báb declared his mission to Mullá Husayn on this day in 1844, marking the inception of the Bahá'í era. Commemorations should be held at about two hours after sunset.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. (Baha’i employees will likely request to have this day off.) 

May 23, 2018
May 23, 2019
May 23, 2020


Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh
Holiday with significant work restriction.

Bahá'u'lláh passed from this life on this date in 1892. Commemorations should be held at 3am.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. (Baha’i employees will likely request to have this day off.) 

May 29, 2018
May 29, 2019
May 29, 2020


Martyrdom of the Báb
Holiday with significant work restriction.

The Báb was executed by firing squad on this date in 1850. Commemorations should be held at noon. 

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. (Baha’i employees will likely request to have this day off.) 

July 9, 2018
July 9, 2019
July 9, 2020

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