NYC designates Lunar New Year as public school holiday

June 23, 2015
Americana at Brand readied itself for a Lunar New Year celebration Sunday. (Tae Hong/Korea Times)

Lunar New Year festivities included performances by Chinese, Korean and Mongolian traditional teams at American at Brand this year. (Korea Time file)

By The Korea Times New York staff

Lunar New Year is officially a New York City public school holiday.

According to the mayor’s office, Mayor Bill de Blasio will hold a press conference with the announcement, to take hold this year, Tuesday.

The decision makes the city the largest in the U.S. to recognize Lunar New Year as a public school holiday, followed by Tenafly, N.J., which designated the holiday in schools in 2005.

The New York Senate reportedly passed the bill, which calls for a school holiday for all districts of one million or more with an Asian population of 7.5 percent or more, in a unanimous vote earlier this month.

Lunar New Year, celebrated by a number of Asian communities, is known as Seollal for Koreans.

One in six public school students is of Asian descent in the city, according to the New York State Assembly.

First proposed by former State Assemblyman Jimmy Meng in 2005, the fight to make the holiday official in New York schools was continued by Assemblywomen Ellen Young and Grace Meng. The latest proposed bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Martin J. Golden.

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