SYOSSET - The Syosset Central School District has become the first to add the Hindu holiday of Diwali to its calendar.

Niki Bhatia had been petitioning the district to give students a day off to celebrate the festival of Diwali, one of India's holiest celebrations. 

Diwali, also called the Festival of Light, celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

"My friends are Hindi, and I know it is very important to them to celebrate their holiday," Bhatia said. "Syosset is a diverse community and they should celebrate."

Bhatia's petition had gained about 600 signatures prior to Monday night's school board meeting.

The district will officially recognize the holiday starting next year.