By Thomas Haribol

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced this week that the State Assembly and the State Senate have passed a bill making Diwali a New York City Public School holiday. The bill is expected to be signed into law by Governor Kathy Huchul.

Diwali is a five-day festival commonly observed by illuminating candles or lamps in homes and temples. Anciently, Diwali was first observed by the joyful citizens of Ayodhya to celebrate the return of King Rama, an incarnation of Lord Krishna. It also recalls when Lord Krishna performed His Damodara childhood pastime of breaking the yogurt pots and permitting Himself to be bound by Mother Yashoda. Believers reflect upon these pastimes during the auspicious month known as Karttika, which occurs in October-November of the Gregorian calendar.

Present with Mayor Adams for the announcement was Jenifer Rajkumar, a member of the New York Assembly representing the 38th District. Rajkumar made history as the first Indian-American woman elected to a New York State office. She remarked, “Today, the mayor and I are proud to stand before the whole world and say that from now on and forever, Diwali will be a school holiday in New York City.” However, in 2023 Diwali occurs on Sunday, Nov. 12th, so the addition will not affect the 2023-24 school calendar.

Read more: https://iskconnews.org/diwali-is-poised-to-be-an-official-holiday-for-nyc-public-schools-beginning-2024/

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