Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is all set to become a school holiday in New York City. The news was shared on Twitter by New York City, Mayor Eric Adams on Monday.
"I'm so proud to have stood with Assemblymember @JeniferRajkumar and community leaders in the fight to make Diwali a school holiday. I know it's a little early in the year, but: Shubh Diwali!," the Mayor tweeted.
The festival of Diwali was added to the list of public school holidays in New York as a recognition of the growth of the city’s South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities.
The measure still has to be inked into law by Governor Kathy Hochul.
Diwali will be observed this year on Sunday, November 12 — meaning the 2023–2024 school calendar will not be affected by the change. So it will be a day off from school for the first time in 2024. The new holiday will replace "Brooklyn-Queens Day" on the school holiday calendar.
Following the declaration, New York State Assembly member, Jenifer Rajkumar tweeted, "My press conference with @NYCMayor today at City Hall. I was proud to lead and win the fight to make Diwali a School Holiday, alongside Mayor Eric Adams."
The population of New York City residents categorized as Asian Indian by the Census Bureau has more than doubled in the last three decades, from 94,000 in 1990 to about 213,000 in the 2021 American Community Survey.
More than 200,000 New York City residents celebrate Diwali, which is observed by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and some Buddhists, according to official reports.
Earlier in 2015, the city announced it would close schools in honour of two major Muslim holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.