Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris Announces Support For Bill Making Diwali A New York City School Holiday


ALBANY, N.Y. – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris announced his support for legislation making Diwali (S.7552) a holiday for New York City schools.

“The growing New York communities who observe Diwali enrich our city and contribute greatly to the strength of our diversity,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “As the child of immigrants, I know how important it is to have special cultural occasions observed by the city we call home. I am eager to make Diwali part of the school calendar so even more families can have their important holidays recognized.”

Diwali is a celebration of light overcoming darkness that is common in several Indian religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism.

“I am proud to champion school holidays for Lunar New Year and Diwali,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens). “I led the Lunar New Year bill when I served in the State Legislature and worked to establish a school holiday for Lunar New Year in New York City, and for years, I have pushed for schools to be closed for Diwali as well. In Congress, I am leading legislation to make Lunar New Year and Diwali federal holidays. I thank Deputy Leader Gianaris for announcing his support for the State Senate bills, and I look forward to their passage.”

New York City Council Member Shekar Krishnan, 25th District said, “Diwali is a special holiday for so many South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities. As the first Indian American ever elected to New York City government, I’m proud to support Senator Gianaris’ efforts to establish Diwali as a school holiday, and I’m excited that children like my own will soon be able to celebrate our holidays with their families, in a way that I was not able to growing up.”