In New York City, Diwali will be observed as a public holiday beginning in 2023.
Beginning the next year, New York City will observe Diwali, the Hindu festival also known as the "Festival of Lights," as a public holiday. At a news conference on Thursday morning with state assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar and the director of the Department of Education, David Banks, the mayor, Eric Adams, announced intentions to include the holiday into the academic calendar for the public schools.
In the public school calendar, legislators substituted Diwali for Anniversary Day, which was previously observed on the first Thursday in June. Diwali is a significant Hindu holiday that is observed by certain Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains as well. Diwali's date can change. The five-day holiday will get underway on October 24 this year.
The legislation to commemorate Diwali was sponsored by Rajkumar, who stated in a press conference that "the time has come to honour almost 200,000 New Yorkers of the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain religions who celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights." Compared to Diwali, which is observed by a "increasing number of New Yorkers," she dubbed Anniversary Day "an obscure and antiquated day."
People have said that the New York City school calendar does not have enough space for a Diwali vacation, the assemblywoman added. I guess my law fills the space. According to Rajkumar, the new school calendar will still feature 180 instructional days as required by state education rules.
The assemblywoman also cited joking references to Adams being dubbed "the Hindu mayor" due to his vegetarian diet and meditation routine. Adams referred to the choice as a "far overdue" recognition of the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist groups throughout the conference. He declared, "We're going to urge kids to learn about what Diwali is." "We're going to get them talking about what the Festival of Lights is all about and how to put a light on inside of yourself." The mayor stated, "When we take this time to recognise Diwali, we're acknowledging the light that is inside us, the light that obviously has the power to drive away darkness."