Diwali 2022: Is Monday a public holiday in Kenya?

Google searches about Diwali grew in the last 7 days by nearly 100%, with the most searched query on Google being: Is Monday a public holiday in Kenya?

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i

The Hindu community will be celebrating Diwali on Monday, October 24, 2022.

Over the last few days, many Kenyans have wondered whether the country will also observe the day as a public holiday.

According to Google Trends, interest in Diwali grew in the last seven days by nearly 100%, with the most searched query on Google being: Is Monday a public holiday in Kenya?

In a statement via Twitter, the Ministry of Interior clarified that the gazette notice doing rounds on social media was fake.

“The government has not declared a public holiday on Thursday, November 4, 2021. The purported gazette notice declaring a holiday is fake!,” read a statement from the Ministry of Interior.

Despite not being gazetted, Kenyan Hindus marked this day and observed the important festival.

In 2019, the Ministry was also forced to clarify that Diwali, which fell on Monday October 28, was not a holiday.

"Kindly ignore a gazette notice circulating on social media claiming Monday 28th October 2019 to be a public holiday. Monday 28th remains a normal working day," a statement from the Ministry read at the time.

According to tradition, it is unlikely that things will change in 2022 and as such, Kenyans will be expected to continue with their normal schedules.

Lasting over five days, the holiday is celebrated by millions of Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs worldwide.

The name of this festival is derived from ‘avali,’ which means ‘row,’ and ‘deepa,’ meaning ‘clay lamps.’

When merged, these words mean ‘a row of lights.’ For this reason, lights are symbolic of this festival and Indians go overboard with sparklers and fireworks to fuel the inner light that spiritually protects them from the darkness.

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