TODAY |

Hindu community calls for Diwali to be a public holiday in New Zealand

Members of the Hindu community are calling to make one of their most popular cultural festival a public holiday by 2022. 

A family celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights. Source: 1 NEWS

Currently, there are a total of 10 public holidays which are observed in New Zealand while the Labour Party pledges to include Matariki as the country's newest public holiday. 

The Universal Society of Hinduism says Diwali would "strengthen the cohesion and unity in the overall New Zealand citizenry". 

Depending on the cycle of the moon, Diwali falls in either October or November on the 15th day of Kartik which is the holiest month in the lunar calendar. 

Society President, Rajan Zed says it's unfair for members of their community to be made to continue going to work or school during their most popular festival considering that other religious days like Good Friday are observed as public holidays. 

Hinduism is considered to be the third largest religion in the world behind Christianity and Islam.