Queens Gazette

Diwali School Holiday Bill Enacted

Photos Courtesy Governor’s Office Bill sponsors Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar joined Governor Kathy Hochul and other elected officials as Hochul signed the Diwali bill into law on November 14.

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. joined Governor Kathy Hochul and Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar at a celebration on November 14, 2023, as the Governor signed into law the legislation introduced by Addabbo and Rajkumar that makes Diwali a school holiday for New York City public schools. The bill S.7574/A.7769, requires that all public schools in New York City be closed on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Indian calendar in each year, which is known as Diwali.

Legislation S.7574/A.7769 amends the education law to declare Diwali a holiday for New York City public schools. Many people of the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist faiths in New York City and throughout the state observe the festival of Diwali and more than 1 billion people around the world celebrate this holiday.

Senator Addabbo said: “I truly appreciate Governor Hochul’s approval to acknowledge Diwali as a school holiday. I also commend my friend, Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar for her initiative on passing this legislation in the Assembly and working my legislative team in passing my bill in the Senate. Diwali is a joyous occasion that holds immense significance for millions of people around the world and in our state. As we come together to commemorate this festival, we are reminded of the Diwali holiday’s positive message – the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. In this time of local and global racism and anger, Diwali’s message is critically important and needed. The Diwali celebration not only represents the rich cultural heritage of our diverse community, but also serves as a reminder of the values that bind us together. It reminds us of the importance of compassion, kindness, and understanding in our interactions with one another. Whether you are celebrating Diwali for a lifetime or learning about it for the first time, may this Diwali bring you and your loved ones an abundance of joy, prosperity, and good health. Let us strive to embrace the spirit of Diwali not only during this festive season but also in our daily lives, by spreading love, light, and happiness to those around us. Once again, I thank Governor Hochul for spreading the positive message of Diwali.”


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