HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by Sen. Greg Rothman (R-34) to make Diwali an official state holiday in Pennsylvania was passed the state Senate today unanimously.
“Thousands of Pennsylvanians celebrate Diwali each year, including many residents of the 34th Senatorial District,” Rothman said. “Recognizing Diwali as an official state holiday upholds and celebrates our Commonwealth’s rich cultural diversity.”
For many of Pennsylvania’s nearly 200,000 South Asian residents, the Diwali “festival of light” is a time of reflection and gathering. This year, Diwali will be observed on Nov. 12.
Senate Bill 402, cosponsored by Sen. Nikil Saval (D-1), does not require school or government closings.
“Our Commonwealth’s official recognition of Diwali sends a clear message of inclusion to the thousands of Pennsylvanians who celebrate this festival of light and connection each year: you are seen, you are welcome, you matter,” Saval said. “I’m grateful to my colleague, Senator Rothman, for initiating this bill on behalf of his constituents, and on behalf of all of Pennsylvania’s nearly 200,000 South Asian residents. It is fitting that this time for reflection on the endless struggle of light over darkness be extended statewide.”
The measure heads to the House for consideration.
CONTACT: Morgan Wagner