New York State public schools will be closed on Asian Lunar New Year after Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation declaring the day a public school holiday.
“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,” Hochul said when she signed the legislation Saturday. “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.”
Lunar New Year is the most important holiday in China, and it is celebrated in other Asian nations as well. The entire 15-day celebration marks the arrival of spring and is the start of the new year on the lunisolar calendar, according to the Smithsonian.
The next Lunar New Year is scheduled for Feb. 10, 2024.
In addition to closing for widely observed holidays such as Christmas, New York State also closes schools for the other holidays such as the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashanah, the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month-long Ramadan fast, and for Columbus Day, which the Department of Education dubs Italian Heritage/Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
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