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CUNY Designates Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Lunar New Year, and Diwali as Official Holidays

The City University of New York will be one of the first universities in the nation to designate Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Lunar New Year, and Diwali as holidays on the official school calendar.

William C. ThompsonWilliam C. ThompsonCUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez made the announcement following a recent vote by the CUNY Board of Trustees. The measure is effective starting in 2025.

“With this vote, the Board of Trustees has taken an important step to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at CUNY,” said CUNY Board of Trustees Chairperson William C. Thompson Jr. “For an institution like ours, whose students observe many faiths and mirror the great diversity of our city, we are pleased to assure them the freedom and flexibility to celebrate with their families and communities during these important days of observance.”

CUNY will not hold classes Jan. 29, 2025, in honor of Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar calendar, a cultural holiday for many Asian communities. Nor will classes be held March 31, 2025, for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

Classes will not be held June 5, 2025, for Eid al-Adha, known as the Feast of Sacrifice, nor Oct. 20, 2025, for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

“As one of the largest and most diverse public universities in the country, CUNY has a responsibility to represent and reflect its diverse religions and cultures,” said CUNY Chancellor Dr. Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “Students who observe Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Lunar New Year, or Diwali will be able to honor those traditions without worrying about their schoolwork. I’m proud to see CUNY advance our commitment to inclusivity.”

The announcement brings CUNY in alignment with New York State law and New York City Public Schools. CUNY is closed for widely observed federal holidays such as Christmas and Juneteenth. Additionally, CUNY’s 25 colleges do not hold classes during Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur.

University officials noted that, under New York State Education Law 224-A and CUNY policy, students have the right to request religious accommodations for any scheduled academic activities that may conflict with their religious observances. Religious accommodations are likewise available to faculty and staff. To raise awareness about religious accommodations, CUNY recently launched a promotional campaign across the university.

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