Ardsley approves three holidays to be added to school calendar

Diwali, Lunar New Year and Eid al-Fitr will be added to the district calendar beginning in the 2023-2024 school year.

News 12 Staff

Mar 29, 2023, 10:08 AM

Updated 423 days ago

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The Ardsley School District is adding three new holidays to its school calendar.
The school board voted and passed the resolution during last night's meeting.
Diwali, Lunar New Year and Eid Al Fitr will be added to the district calendar beginning in the 2023-2024 school year.
Ardsley is the second school district in Westchester County to add Diwali as a school holiday, and one of the few to add Lunar New Year and Eid al-Fitr.
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, symbolizing the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated by many Asian cultures, and is the observance of the start of a new year using the lunisolar calendar.   
Eid al-Fitr is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide and marks the end of Ramadan, which is the Islamic holy month of fasting.
School officials say the move is meant to reflect their diverse communities, and they say a recent district survey showed that these three holidays were the most requested.
While the school board made the decision, it was Ardsley students who were the driving force behind the change. "I feel really proud of myself and my friends and my brother and all the people who fought for this to happen," says Zara Rabbani, 4th grader.
The demographics in Ardsley, like many Hudson Valley communities, have changed over the years and many felt the school district should reflect that. "This is really important to recognize our families in the way that is most appropriate and give that time and opportunity to observe their religious and cultural celebrations as they should," adds Ardsley Schools Superintendent Dr. Ryan Schoenfeld.
The students say their friends and classmates understood how important it was for their own cultures to be recognized. "They celebrated holidays like Christmas that we don't celebrate and they understand that it needs a day, off and it was important," says Zaamil Rabbani, 7th grader.
"Everyone matters to us in Ardsley and part of this is moving in that right direction to begin helping and celebrating each other," says Superintendent Dr. Ryan Schoenfeld.


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