The northeastern state of Pennsylvania in the United States recently passed a bill recognising Diwali as a state holiday.
"The Senate voted unanimously to recognise 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," Senator Nikil Saval shared on Twitter this on Wednesday.
Two Pennsylvania State Senators, Greg Rothman and Nikil Saval, introduced the legislation in February.
Pennsylvania is home to nearly 200,000 South Asian people, of which a large part celebrates the Hindu festival of Diwali.
Senator Rothman highlighted that recognising Diwali as an official holiday in the state celebrates its cultural diversity.
“Thousands of Pennsylvanians celebrate Diwali each year, including many residents of the 34th Senatorial District,” Rothman said in his statement. “Recognizing Diwali as an official state holiday upholds and celebrates our Commonwealth’s rich cultural diversity.”
Pennsylvania is not the only state in the United States to declare Diwali as a federal holiday. The state of New York also passed a law in 2022, which declared Diwali a state holiday from 2023.