Diwali: Which day is the holiday?

2008-10-17 00:00

There is still confusion over the dates that the Hindu religious festival of Deepavali/ Diwali will be celebrated this year. Officially, schools, universities and other educational institutions will be closed on Monday, October 27, for the religious festival.

However, South Africans of North Indian origin who celebrate Diwali (the Hindi word for the festival of light) a day after South Africans of South Indian origin celebrate Deepavali (the Tamil word) are free to hold celebrations on October 28.

The SA Hindu Maha Sabha’s (Sahma) public relations officer Kovilan Ramsamy said a resolution was passed between it and other major religious organisations that for the purposes of a public holiday, they would alternate the festival dates between North and South Indian days of observance every year. “Last year the North Indian date was used as a day for the public holiday.

This year, our official date … is October 27, which is the date South Indians will celebrate Deepavali,” he said.

Ramsamy’s explanation is endorsed by Bala Naidoo, President of the Tamil Federation of KZN. Both Ramsamy and Naidoo said that individuals are free to negotiate the day off with their employer in accordance with the day they wish to celebrate the occasion.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.