Central York's closing on Diwali is happenstance, official says

Meredith Willse
York Dispatch

Central York happens to be closed on Diwali Day this fall — but not for the Hindu holiday, a school official says.

It was a "happenstance," Superintendent Peter Aiken said. He explained the district makes the calendars a year in advance and decides on a series of half days, service days and more.

The decision to close Oct. 24 happened to be on the holiday. 

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Aiken stresses the district not being closed for the holiday doesn't mean any disrespect to the Hindu population.  He couldn’t speak on whether the district will consider adding other religious holidays to the calendar in the future.

Diwali, which falls on Oct. 24 this year, is the Hindu festival of lights that “aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives,” according to Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism. He said it also symbolizes the victory of good over evil.

The Central York calendar shows Oct. 24 will be a full in-service day for teachers, meaning teachers will engage in planning and training activities.  

The district has previously hosted Diwali celebrations at the schools.  

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

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