LANSING, Mich., April 21, 2023 — Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck) and state Reps. Sharon MacDonell (D-Troy) and Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton) introduced legislation to establish the holidays of Diwali, Vaisakhi, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha and Lunar New Year as official state-recognized holidays in Michigan.
House Bill 4447, introduced by Aiyash, establishes Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr as state holidays. Eid al-Fitr marks the completion of Ramadan, an Islamic month of fasting, spirituality and charity. Eid al-Adha celebrates Prophet Abraham and his son’s servitude and faithfulness to God. It also falls during the annual Holy Pilgrimage, Hajj, in which Muslims travel to the holy city of Mecca, the most sacred site in Islam. Celebrations of both Eids include a group prayer, spending time with family and friends, and gift-giving.
“These bills embrace the diverse fabric of our state by recognizing various religious and cultural holidays,” Aiyash said. “Making these holidays official state holidays will let Michigan’s many communities know that they have a place in our great state and deserve to celebrate their joyous occasions like everyone else.”
House Bill 4446 establishes Diwali as a state holiday. Diwali is a Hindu religious festival, which celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. This celebration lasts five days and people all around the world enjoy these special days. House Bill 4449 establishes Vaisakhi as a state holiday. Vaisakhi is the celebration of the spring harvest; this holiday is celebrated by both Hindus and Sikhs with festivals, spending time with friends and family, and gift-giving. Puri introduced both bills.
“Celebrating our cultural diversity is a cornerstone of a vibrant and inclusive society. By recognizing these holidays, we are not only showing our respect and appreciation for the traditions and beliefs of our fellow Michiganders, but we are also sending a powerful message of inclusion and unity,” Puri said. “Together, we can create a Michigan that is truly welcoming and accepting of all people, regardless of their background or beliefs. Let’s celebrate these holidays with joy and gratitude, and let’s show the world what it truly means to be a Michigander.”
MacDonell introduced House Bill 4448, which establishes Lunar New Year as a state holiday. Lunar New Year is a celebration of the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new year on the lunisolar calendar. Lunar New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the year among East and Southeast Asian cultures, including Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean communities, among others.
“Many people in my district and across the state celebrate the Lunar New Year,” MacDonell said. “It is time that our state recognizes and celebrates holidays from cultures all around the world. This bill will do just that. By recognizing the Lunar New Year as a state holiday, we ensure that the Asian American community receives the recognition it deserves.”