New York State makes Asian Lunar New Year a public-school holiday  

Governor Kathy Hochul of New York signing Lunar Year public school holiday legislation September 12, 2023, flanked by several elected leaders. PHOTO courtesy Office of the Governor

Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation September 12, 2023, declaring Asian Lunar New Year a public-school holiday across New York State. The Lunar New Year goes by a Chinese calendar and is celebrated by communities with East Asian origins around the world. It usually falls in late January or early February. This year it is on February 10.

By designating Lunar New Year as an official school holiday, we are taking an important step in recognizing the importance of New York’s AAPI community and the rich diversity that makes New York so great,” Governor Hochul is quoted saying in the press release. “It is not just a day off from school – it is an opportunity for our children to learn about and celebrate their own or different cultures and traditions.”

Several elected leaders joined Gov. Hochul at the signing, including State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar.

“As the first South Asian woman ever elected to New York State Office, I thank Governor Kathy Hochul for signing this historic bill recognizing the rich diversity of our State and its AAPI community,” Rajkumar is quoted saying. “Over 1 million New Yorkers across the State celebrate Lunar New Year, and today we say to all of them that we see you and we recognize you. I was proud to help drive this historic bill to passage. Today, we are making our education system work for all the diverse communities in our State. In an era of rising hate against the AAPI community nationwide, New York is a beacon of respect, tolerance, and love for people of every faith and background.”

State Senator John Liu said, “The Lunar New Year is the most significant time of the year for Asian Americans, and as the fastest growing community in the country, we need to make sure our heritage, culture and traditions are treated with the same respect and reverence as any other American holiday. Declaring Lunar New Year a State holiday is an important step in the recognition and validation of Asian Americans not just here in New York State, but throughout the country. Many thanks to Governor Hochul for making the signing of this legislation a priority.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here