New York City Declares Diwali as Official School Holiday

Diwali Designated as School Holiday in Largest U.S. School System

Diwali, the festival of lights, is ready to shine brighter than ever in New York City as Mayor Eric Adams announced on Monday that it would become a school holiday. This significant move comes after state legislators recently enacted legislation recognising Diwali as an official holiday in the biggest school system in the United States.

Thousands of New Yorkers celebrate Diwali each year, revelling in the triumph of light over darkness. Mayor Eric Adams lauded this news as a big success for local families, expressing his delight in standing with Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar and community leaders in the effort to make Diwali a school holiday. Taking to Twitter, Mayor Adams welcomed everyone with a loud “Shubh Diwali!” despite the event being a bit early in the year.

Governor Kathy Hochul has the last key to make Diwali a recognized school holiday. While the law awaits her signature, it is likely that Governor Hochul would endorse this inclusive initiative. Once approved into law, Diwali will replace “Brooklyn-Queens Day” on the school holiday calendar, symbolically expressing that every person is accepted and welcomed in the unique fabric of New York City.

Mayor Adams stressed the importance of this occasion, stressing that it sends a strong message to individuals who may feel marginalized or excluded: they are a vital part of this wonderful community, and their presence is cherished. The New York Times cited Adams’ statements, “We’re claiming that New York exists for everyone, despite where you came from.”

Diwali falls on Sunday, November 12, this year, giving it a full day off from school for the first time in 2024. This follows the city’s decision in 2015 to shut schools in honor of two significant Muslim vacations Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

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