HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — State Senator Greg Rothman (R-34) and Senator Nikil Saval (D-1) introduced legislation to make Diwali an official state holiday in Pennsylvania.

Nearly 200,000 South Asian residents reside in Pennsylvania, many of whom participate in Diwali as a time of reflection and gathering.

“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”

“Every year, Diwali’s festival of light and connection is celebrated at temples, houses of worship, and community centers across our Commonwealth,” Saval said. “It’s a time for reflection on the endless struggle of light over darkness, offering us renewed clarity of purpose. This festival deserves official recognition, and I’m honored to join Senator Rothman in bringing this to pass.”

The day people celebrate Diwali varies from year to year, however this year it will be observed on Nov. 12. Senate Bill 402 does not require school or government closings.