The New York city local leadership announced that Diwali will be declared an official school holiday in New York City schools.
Jennifer Rajkumar who introduced this bill said, ’Today, South Asian and Indo-Caribbean families, like mine, all over this city have made incredible contributions, and today I am proud to say our time has come. The time has come to recognize over 200,000 New Yorkers of the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain faiths who celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights.’
The New York City council replaced the Anniversary day holiday with Diwali so to not add additional holidays to the school calendar. A minimum of 180 days instruction is required as per New York state law.
New York City mayor Eric Adams said it is an opportunity to educate students. He said, ’It is long overdue to say to our Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist students and communities that we see you, we acknowledge you. The inclusiveness of this city is extremely significant, and this is our opportunity to say that in a loud way.’
Diwali’s date changes every year, and its observance can be in either October or November depending on the Indian calendar. This year, it is on October 24.