Central York to formally recognize Diwali, Hindu festival of lights

Meredith Willse
York Dispatch

Central York School District, along with 20 other Pennsylvania school districts, is closing for Diwali Day in the upcoming school year, according to Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism.  

Diwali, which falls on Oct. 24 this year, is the Hindu festival of lights. It “aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil," Zed said.  

Zed urged state officials to add Diwali as an official holiday to the public school calendars. Zed asks the schools to look into making this an official holiday to recognize “the intersection of spirituality and education.” It would also bring awareness of other religions and allow Hindi students to celebrate Diwali  

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Along with Central York, Bensalem Township, Central Bucks, Coudersport Area, Council Rock Township, New Hope-Solebury, North Penn, Owen J. Roberts, Pennsbury, Punxsutawney Area, Spring-Ford Area, Unionville-Chadds Ford, Upper Darby, Upper Dublin, Upper Merion Area and West Chester school districts will also close for the holiday. 

Central York High School in Springettsbury Township, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

According to Central York's school calendar, Oct. 24 will be a full-day teacher inservice day, meaning that teachers will still be present to engage in planning and training activities.

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The district previously hosted Diwali celebrations at its schools but this would be the first year students have the day off.

— Reach Meredith Willse at mwillse@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @MeredithWillse.