In a statement Monday, Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, asked educators to recognize Diwali, the most popular Hindu holy day.
Zed said it is unfair that Hindu students must attend school during an important Hindu festival while schools close for other religious holidays.
Diwali, also known as the “festival of lights,” is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated every autumn. It signifies the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and some Buddhists also celebrate Diwali, which falls on November 11 in 2015.
“Holidays of all major religions should be honored and no one should be penalized for practicing their religion,” Zed said. It is important to meet the religious and spiritual needs of all students, he said.