EDISON, NJ – The Edison Board of Education added two new days off to the 2015-2016 School Calendar in recognition of Edison’s ever growing diverse population at the meeting held Monday evening at John Marshall Elementary School.

The board voted unanimously to add the holiday of Diwali on November 12, 2015, and to observe the Lunar New Year, more commonly referred to as the Chinese New Year on February 8, 2016.

Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival that spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness. There are many different traditions in the observance of Diwali depending on the region of India one comes from.

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The Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of the New Year, as with Diwali, there are many different traditions in the observance of the Chinese New Year depending on the region in China your family comes from.

 “I am quit elated to see the calendar has been changed around,” said Dr. Frank Heelan, Edison Board of Education vice president. “This is something that should have been done a while ago; certainly we have a big demographic population of terrific Asian-Americans in our community.”

 “It is very important to the community,” said Jerry Shi, Edison Board of Education member. “As these two holidays are celebrated by a lot of the families in town, there is no need to worry about missing school or worrying about make-up homework or tests.”

Shi also pointed out for those who do not celebrate these two particular holidays that it is an opportunity to learn about the other cultures as Indian and Chinese children have learned about the other holidays that have been traditionally observed.

"We can appreciated the diverse community we have in this great town of Edison,” added Shi.

The 2015-2016 School year starts on September 2, 2015 and ends on June 22, 2016.

2015-2016 Holidays Observed - School Closed

September 7 - Labor Day

September 14 – Rosh HaShanah

September 23 – Yom Kippur

November 12 – Diwali

November 26 & 27 – Thanksgiving

December 24 through December 31 - Christmas Recess

January 1 – New Year’s Day

January 18 – Martin Luther King’s Birthday

February 8 – Lunar New Year

February 15 – President’s Day

March 25 through April 1 – Easter Recess

May 30 – Memorial Day