With thousands of people celebrating Diwali in Pennsylvania, the state has passed a bill declaring Diwali, a Hindu festival, as an official state holiday. Senator Nikil Saval of the northeastern state made the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday.
“The Senate voted unanimously to recognize Diwali as an official holiday! To all Pennsylvanians who celebrate this festival of light and connection: you are seen, you are welcome, you matter. Thank you, @rothman_greg, for the opportunity to join you in introducing this bill,” Saval wrote on his Twitter page.
“Thousands of Pennsylvanians celebrate Diwali each year, including many residents of the 34th Senatorial District,” Rothman said, he further added “Recognizing Diwali as an official state holiday upholds and celebrates our Commonwealth’s rich cultural diversity”.
Every year, Diwali’s festival of light and connection is celebrated at temples, houses of worship and community centers across our commonwealth,” said Saval. It’s a time for reflection on the endless struggle of light over darkness, offering us renewed clarity of purpose. This festival deserves official recognition, and I’m honored to join Senator Rothman in bringing this to pass,” he further added.
Nearly 200,000 South Asian residents reside in Pennsylvania many of whom participate in Diwali as a time of reflection and gathering, My Twin Tiers reported.
However, Senate Bill 402 does not require offices or schools to remain shut during the festival dated November 12 this year.