Other counties get religious holidays off


Saurabh Chatterjee

Staying home on religious holidays allows for students to celebrate and bond with close family and friends.

Harry Xiao, Staff Writer

You get up at 7 a.m. and are about to leave your house, but when you reach the front door, you see your younger siblings chilling with huge grins on their faces for no reason. Realizing you are the only sibling who has to go to school, your morning mood is off to a rough start.

In Fairfax County, there is school on religious holidays, but no new material will be given and students may stay home to celebrate with their families. On the contrary, school boards of Prince William, Arlington, and Loudoun Counties agreed to cancel school for all students and teachers on certain religious holidays like Yom Kippur, Diwali and Eid Al-fitir off. 

With extra days off, students can spend time with their families and friends and build relationships with their close ones.

“Having these religious holidays off will allow students to celebrate their holidays with family,” senior Steven Chen said. “If students still go to school on these holidays, they may miss out on family bonding.”

Since teachers are not allowed to teach students or give them new content, students who go to school on that day will spend hours of time on observance days to finish projects and other school work.

I think that students who do take the religious holidays off will have less time compared to other students to work on their unfinished school work” freshman Avery Li said. “This could result in them falling behind.”

Hence, compared to students from other counties, more students of Fairfax will not celebrate their holiday because many Fairfax students will still go to school on holidays they may have celebrated otherwise. This especially applies to students of Jefferson because academics are more rigorous, so students are more likely to attend school instead of staying home to celebrate.

“In the current case, Jefferson students may be missing out on their religious celebrations because although Fairfax gives them days off, they might still go to school,” Chen said. “Students may be worried they will fall behind because other students who are at school are catching up on work.” 

Additionally, Fairfax’s system makes it harder for Jefferson students who have siblings and came from a different county. These students’ siblings will stay home on the religious holidays while they have to go to school, causing these students to feel annoyed because their family could celebrate the holiday without them.

“It would be quite awkward for students who have siblings at a school in another county because their siblings would stay at home while they would still need to attend school,” Li said.

Since some Fairfax students are not staying home to celebrate their holidays, it may result in them not knowing much about their culture. Although the students are no longer living in the country their relatives are from, it is still important for students to stay educated on the traditions of their countries.

“Tradition is something that many families value,” Chen said. “When students stay home to celebrate with their families, they can get to know their traditions and stay educated on their culture.”

Consequently, because the Fairfax system for religious holidays is unique from other Northern Va. counties, more students of Fairfax are not able to celebrate their holidays compared to students of other countries. As a result, Fairfax students might have a weaker relationship with their family, which could affect communication with their family later on. 

Staying home to spend time with family members is crucial to students’ relationships with their parents and siblings and will affect connections in the future,” Chen said.