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Rep. Meng Introduces Legislation to Make Lunar New Year a Federal Holiday

A Lunar New Year celebration in NYC in 2019 (Ed Reed/ Mayoral Photography Office)

Feb. 1, 2022 By Allie Griffin

Queens Rep. Grace Meng introduced legislation last week to make Lunar New Year a federal holiday.

Meng introduced the bill Friday and—if passed—it would add Lunar New Year to the list of federally recognized holidays in the U.S.

The bill, called the Lunar New Year Day Act, would amend the existing list of 11 federal public holidays to add Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year is celebrated by Asians around the world and marks the start of the calendar year based on the moon cycles.

“For Asian Americans, Lunar New Year is an incredibly important, festive and deeply traditional holiday,” Meng said in a statement. “It’s the most significant time of year for the Asian American community, and is celebrated in the U.S. and across the globe.”

Today, Feb. 1, marks the beginning of the year of the tiger, which symbolizes strength, courage and ambition.

Meng said Lunar New Year should be a federal holiday as Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial group in the country.

“The time has come to make this happen,” she said.

The bill has the support of dozens of other legislators. It was introduced with 44 co-sponsors.

On a local level, Lunar New Year was made a public school holiday in New York City in 2016 — which the congresswoman had long advocated for.

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