NEW YORK (WABC) -- Diwali is officially a New York City public school holiday, Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday.
Adams was joined at the announcement at City Hall by Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar, the first Hindu American and first South Asian American woman elected to state office.
"Today we say to over 600,000 Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, and Jain Americans, we see you," Rajkumar said. "Today we say to families from India, Guyana, Trinidad, Nepal, and Bangladesh, we recognize you."
The announcement comes after state lawmakers approved a bill, first introduced in 2021 and reintroduced in 2022. Supporters have been attempting to get the date on the public school calendar for decades.
The move is contingent on Gov. Kathy Hochul signing the legislation, although the mayor said he was "confident" that she would.
While Hochul is still reviewing the bill, she has supported other efforts to recognize Diwali.
Diwali is a pan-religious holiday celebrating the symbolic victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance, fostering unity and togetherness.
It is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year.
In 2023, Diwali will be celebrated on Sunday, November 12, so it will be a day off school for the first time in 2024.
The Department of Education said there will be four new days off during 2023-24 school calendar including April 1, the day after Easter, April 29 and 30, the two days of Passover, and June 17 for Eid.
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