Celebrating Easter, Passover and Holi at QU during COVID-19

David Matos, Staff Writer

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Quinnipiac University faculty, staff and students are finding ways to celebrate spring holidays like Easter, Passover and Holi with Easter and Passover services being offered on campus.

Illustration by Michael Clement

The number of COVID-19 cases on campus have been remarkably low as the university enters the midpoint of the spring semester. At this point in the fall 2020 semester, COVID-19 cases among students were seemingly out of control, causing the university to enter a “red alert level” in November. This semester, due to students honoring mandatory health protocols and weekly surveillance testing, the university has been able to sustain a 0.6% positivity rate.

Dr. David Hill, senior medical advisor of the COVID-19 task force, encouraged Quinnipiac students to refrain from going home during Easter and Passover weekend in an email sent earlier this month. Hill is aware of the importance of these religious holidays, so he suggests that students practice regular COVID-19 prevention guidelines if they plan to go home.

“We prefer that students refrain from traveling during these weekends,” Hill wrote. “But we do recognize that this is a deeply religious time for many of our students and families, and some may wish to travel home.”

An Easter Sunday service will be held in the Mount Carmel auditorium at 9 a.m. on April 4. Services for the first Passover Seder were held on Saturday, March 27. The university is also hosting the first-ever glow-in-the-dark egg hunt on the Quad set for Saturday, April 3, at 7:30 p.m.

This year, Passover began sundown on March 27 and ends on April 4. Practicing Jews are expected to refrain from consuming a variety of foods during the eight-day celebration, in addition to kosher meals. Quinnipiac will not be updating its regular menus during Passover.

University Rabbi Reena Judd does not take issue with the lack of Passover food available for Jewish students who plan on staying on campus this year.

“Most Jewish students who attend Quinnipiac are not very traditionally observant,” Judd said. “Many who do want to keep kosher for Passover bring kosher food from home or purchase it at the local food stores. I also give many students free boxes of matzah.”

Judd said that in years past, the dining hall tried to offer kosher options, but they were low quality and expensive.


Illustration by Michael Clement

“One year, many years ago now, the cafe did much more, but the kosher for Passover food they purchased was not very good,” Judd said. “Kosher for Passover food is very hard to make in the best of circumstances, and the cafe ended up losing quite a bit of money.”

For students who celebrate Holi, a Hindu holiday in honor of the start of spring on March 28, the Quinnipiac South Asian Society created a video explaining the traditions associated with it on its Instagram account.

On the holiday, people celebrate by throwing colored powder on others as a way to symbolize the triumph of good over evil.

Additionally the South Asian Society held a raffle to win a $100 bookstore gift card, an Apple Watch and an Echo Dot.

Quinnipiac will be operating on a normal dining schedule during Easter weekend and Passover, which is available on the QU Dining website. If you plan on celebrating at home this year, I personally encourage everyone to be proactive in slowing the spread by practicing social distancing, wearing a mask, getting tested and washing your hands regularly.