Diwali: The Reason Behind the Asynchronous Week


As some may well have noticed, there have been an abundance of student holidays throughout the past two months at school, and there are only more to come. From Oct. 29 to Nov. 8, students will be out of school. But why so many days off?

During the Dec. 1 school board meeting last year, the board voted on the schedule for the 2021-2022 school year. In doing so, they added three new student/staff holidays to allow for days off on the religious holidays of Yom Kippur, Eid al-Fitr, and the upcoming holiday of Diwali.

Diwali is a major religious holiday celebrated by those who observe the religions of Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism. The holiday follows the lunar calendar, but generally falls within the months of October and November on the Gregorian calendar. 

The holiday is one of the most important for Hindus to celebrate, though the holiday is now observed by more than just the followers of Hinduism. Many people in India celebrate it regardless of their religious affiliation, which has caused Diwali to become a celebration for many different people and religious groups.

Diwali is a major religious holiday celebrated by those who observe the religions of Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism.”

Often, families light their homes with diya and rangoli, eat feasts together, and light fireworks. They also often share gifts like new clothes, jewelry, firecrackers, and mithai (sweets). 

Traditionally, Diwali is a five day long festival of lights. However, the third and main day of the festival this year falls on Nov. 4. According to the school board’s new calendar, this day will be observed as a student holiday. 

With the teacher work days and student holidays falling so close to each other, almost the entire first week of November has students out of school. 

For students, Oct. 28 marks the final day of the 1st grading period. Oct. 29 and Nov. 1 are student holidays for staff development and planning, followed immediately by election day on Nov. 2. Diwali, just two days later, will be observed on Nov. 4. In all, there will only be two school days during the first week of November. 

Due to the nature of the week, both Nov. 3 and 5 will also be asynchronous learning days rather than the in-person school days they were scheduled to be. Teachers will be able to assign work online, but students will not come into school. Students will not return to school until Nov. 8 the following week.