Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care

Faith Greetings

Celebrating Faith Festivals

Students and colleagues from all over the UK and the world come to Newcastle, representing a diverse range of faith and spiritual observation. Some of these festivals are well known and are reflected in a variety of ways, while others are less well known yet signify key periods of celebration for people of faith. Whether or not you are already familiar with the tradition of Simnel Cake or the significance of Rosh HaShanah, marking these key festivals is an important way for us to celebrate with our students and colleagues while learning more about cultures and traditions honoured by those we study and work with.

Throughout the 2021/22 academic year, the Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care service are providing opportunities to share in celebrating five faith festivals from a range of faith traditions throughout the year:

  • Diwali  – Early November
  • Bodhi Day – Early Dec
  • Easter – Mid April
  • Eid – April
  • Rosh Hashanna - Early Sept

To celebrate these festivals, a set of ‘Faith Greeting Badges’ are available that can be worn to share the greeting with those you encounter, being a positive symbol of the inclusivity of our University community. Members of the Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care team will be on campus giving out the badges in the two weeks leading up to the festival, and students and colleagues will be invited to wear and share. Alternatively, badges can be ordered by emailing

In addition to sharing the faith greetings, the Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care team will be collaborating with student faith groups and colleagues in the EDI Team to highlight the festivals and provide some opportunities to find out more about the traditions and cultural significance of these celebrations. 

Any colleagues who are interested in helping celebrate these festivals should send an email to 


Name of Festival:

Date(s) of observance:
Alternates yearly according to the Islamic Calendar – in 2022 Eid begins on May 1st and ends on May 2nd.

What the festival is about: 
Eid al-Fitr, translated from Arabic to mean ‘Festival of Breaking Fast’ is celebrated every year and marks the end of the Holy month of Ramadan.

After this month of prayer, devotion and self-control, many Muslims will celebrate their sacred accomplishments with Eid al-Fitr. In many countries with large Muslim population Eid al-Fitr is a national holiday and the celebrations typically last for three days.

How is it celebrated as a faith festival: 
During Eid al-Fitr, Muslims perform special morning prayers, welcome one another with formal embraces and greet each other by saying “Eid Mubarak,” or “Have a blessed Eid.” Time is spent with family and friends, where games and presents are given to children, and special meals are prepared and consumed.

One of the Five Pillars of Islam is Zakat, or giving to those in need. Many Muslims will prepare for Eid al-Fitr by offering some of their money for charity so that those who may be less fortunate are still able to join in the festivities. As well as Zakat, Muslims are encouraged to offer and seek forgiveness during Eid al-Fitr, and many look ahead with excitement at the opportunity to fast again during the following year’s Ramadan.

Any social/food/cultural activities associated with the festival:
See above.

Where can we find out more:

Here is a short film on Eid:


*Information taken from