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District Gives Days Off for Diwali and Lunar New Year

By Helai Eren

Recently, the Sewanhaka Central High School District revealed that Diwali and Lunar New Year would be days off for all five high schools, at least for the 2024-25 school year. Both holidays are celebrated by a large number of students in the Sewanhaka district, and the newly allotted time off allows students to spend the holidays with their loved ones.

The district opted to align a Superintendent’s Conference Day with the date of Diwali while Lunar New Year was declared a state-mandated holiday this past fall. What this means is that students do not have school on Diwali, but teachers attend professional development meetings. This enables students to celebrate this holiday by meeting friends and family without having to worry about the consequences of missing school. 

“Lunar New Year deserves to be a day off because it is a major celebration for millions,” sophomore Kitty Guan said. “It’s the day that people from all ages look forward to every year. Having time off will allow us to participate in important family and traditional events.”

Source by Linda Cheung

As a result of NHP's active East Asian community, Lunar New Year celebrations are impactful to many students at NHP.

“Our country was founded on religious freedom, perhaps we can learn from these festivities,” Hindu Student Association adviser Ms. Tomkiw said.

However, some students have been critical of the district’s delay in implementing holidays for Diwali and Lunar New Year. Eid has already been given off to students using a Superintendent’s Conference Day. It was celebrated on April 10 this year, and the day free of classes allowed for students to celebrate at home with their families. 

“It took more than I expected to make Diwali a day off,” sophomore Dhara Patel said. “I wish they had done it sooner so that way many of us, who did not want to miss school, could celebrate the sacred holiday without beloved relatives and friends.”

By allowing students a day off for the holidays of Lunar New Year and Diwali, the district has allowed many students to fully participate in their cultural festivities. This change will go into effect next year, though it remains to be seen whether Diwali as a day off for students will be permanent.


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