New York State Assembly to pass legislation on observing Diwali, Lunar New Year as federal holidays


Formal holidays for these festivals are essential to recognize New York’s rich and diverse culture

Our Bureau

New York City, NY

The New York State Assembly is planning to pass legislation to observe Diwali and the Lunar New Year as federal holidays, bringing to fruition years-long efforts by lawmakers and members of the diaspora in making these festivals formal holidays in the state.   

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement that declaring formal holidays for these festivals is important to recognize New York’s rich and diverse culture.

“Therefore, it is the intention of the Assembly to pass legislation to observe Lunar New Year and Diwali as holidays in New York State before the close of our legislative session. Discussions and consultations with stakeholders will be held to oversee its impact on the school year calendar,” he said.

Action on the bills is expected to be taken by June 8, when the legislative session concludes.

Under the Congresswoman Grace Meng’s Diwali Day Act, Diwali would become the 12th federally recognized holiday in the United States, a statement from her office said.

“Establishing a federal holiday for Diwali, and the day off would allow families and friends to celebrate together and demonstrate that the government values the diverse cultural makeup of the nation,” it added.

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