WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens), First Vice Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, announced today that she has introduced new legislation to create a federal holiday for Lunar New Year, as Asian Americans prepare to ring in the Year of the Tiger on Tuesday.
Meng’s measure would make Lunar New Year a federally recognized holiday in the United States, adding it to the list of eleven federal holidays that are currently recognized. The bill was introduced with 44 cosponsors.
In addition to the legislation, Meng reintroduced a House resolution that would recognize the cultural and historical significance of Lunar New Year, as well as wish a happy and prosperous holiday to everybody celebrating, and express the deepest respect for Asian Americans and all individuals throughout the world who observe the holiday.
Meng on Tuesday will also mark the anniversary of Lunar New Year becoming a school holiday in New York City, a public school holiday that she played a role in creating in 2016. The Congresswoman first proposed closing New York City schools for Lunar New Year when she was a member of the New York State Legislature in 2009.
“For Asian Americans, Lunar New Year is an incredibly important, festive and deeply traditional holiday,” said Meng. “It’s the most significant time of year for the Asian American community, and is celebrated in the U.S. and across the globe. It has also been observed for thousands of years. With Asian Americans being the fastest growing population in our country, and with the popularity of the holiday continuing to grow, it makes sense to make Lunar New Year a federal holiday. The time has come to make this happen. My bill, coupled with my resolution, would demonstrate that the holiday celebrated by millions is also valued by their government. I look forward to shepherding these measures through the House, and I am excited to wish everyone celebrating a very happy Lunar New Year!”
Lunar New Year celebrates the culture, heritage and contributions of Asian Americans, and this year begins the year of the Tiger which symbolizes a competitive nature, courage, and ambition.
A copy of Meng’s holiday bill, titled the “Lunar New Year Day Act,” can be viewed here. A copy of her resolution, called “Recognizing the cultural and historical significance of Lunar New Year in 2022,” which has 71 cosponsors, is available here.