New York, Feb 7 (IANS): Lawmakers at the Utah Senate in the US unanimously passed a bill that will make Diwali a state commemorative period, and allow discharge of fireworks during the Indian festival of lights.
Moved by Senator Lincoln Fillmore from South Jordan, the Senate Bill 46 was approved unanimously last week, ABC4 reported.
The bill would designate Diwali as a state commemorative period and will allow the sale and discharge of fireworks during the five days of Diwali, which is usually between late October and early November.
Fillmore said one of his constituents in Herriman reached out to him and gave him the idea for this bill, which needs just one more vote before heading to the House of Representatives.
"I appreciate Utah's Indian community. Their collaborative efforts to organise events to include the neighbouring communities, as well as their efforts to increase education about Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism, have helped create a better sense of understanding in our state," Senator Fillmore said in a statement.
"This bill recognises others' cultures, contributing to the wonderful tapestry that is Utah."
The bill will be scheduled for a third reading at the Utah Senate in the near future.
Diwali was celebrated in the White House for the first time in 2002, and in 2007, the US government gave official recognition to the festival.
In 2021, the Diwali Day Act was introduced in the US to declare the festival a federal holiday.
This year, Diwali will fall on November 12.