Lunar New Year now a recognized holiday in Washington state


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation on Wednesday recognizing Lunar New Year as a state holiday.

Key points:

The details:

Trending on NextShark: Japan's most famous cherry blossom trees could disappear due to climate change

  • House Bill 2209 builds upon previous efforts to establish Lunar New Year as a recognized holiday in the state. However, it will not be a paid day off.

  • Around 10.5% of Washington’s population is Asian, according to latest census figures. By recognizing Lunar New Year as a holiday, the state takes a significant step toward inclusivity.

  • Rep. Thai (D-Bellevue), who came to Washington as a Vietnamese refugee, said the recognition “sends a clear signal to future generations that their heritage is respected and celebrated.”

  • Based on the lunar calendar, Lunar New Year is typically celebrated over 15 days, from the first new moon to the first full moon. This year, it took place on Feb. 10, marking the Year of the Wood Dragon.

  • Asian cultures mark this time of the year in various ways. China calls it the Spring Festival, Vietnam observes Tet, South Korea welcomes Seollal and Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore refer to it as the Chinese New Year.

  • The move follows similar actions of other states, including California and Colorado. New York and Philadelphia, meanwhile, have recognized it as a public school holiday.


Download the NextShark App:

Want to keep up to date on Asian American News? Download the NextShark App today!