Feasts, Holidays, and Other Observances

The SBLHS 2 follows CMS §8.88 in capitalizing officially designated, recurring days in secular and religious calendars. These include festivals, holy days, liturgical seasons, and similar observances. Below are a few examples:

Akitu

Al-Hijra

Ascension Day (as a liturgical day)

Ash Wednesday

Ashura

Beltane

Christmas (Day, Eve)

Day of Atonement

Diwali

Easter

Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Adha

Epiphany

Feast of Firstfruits

Feast of the Nativity

Feast/Festival of Tabernacles

Festival of Booths

Festival of Passover

Festival of Weeks

Good Friday

Halloween

Hanukkah

Holy Week

Jubilee, Jubilee Year

Kwanzaa

Lent

Liberalia

Lupercalia

Mother’s Day

New Year’s (Day, Eve)

Panathenaia

Passover

Pentecost

Purim

Ramadan

Rosh Hashanah

Simchat Torah

Saturnalia

Vesak

Yom Kippur

Yuletide

As the above examples illustrate, if day, feast, festival, or the like occur in the official title of the day, the term should be capitalized. If used generically (e.g., the feast day or New Year’s festival), the term should be lowercased. Likewise, a generic designation such as new moon should be lowercased (see SBLHS §4.3.6).

Some modern translations lowercase the term Sabbath, while others capitalize it. Although one might argue for the lowercase on the basis of the term’s generic usage, SBL Press capitalizes Sabbath in keeping with its listing in our preferred dictionary, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.).

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