Tet, Lunar New Year, an official holiday in California

By Linh Nguyen   August 30, 2018 | 05:04 pm GMT+7

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill recognizing the Lunar New Year as a day of special significance.

Photo by Reuters/Stringer

Lunar New Year is celebrated by millions of Asian and Pacific Islanders around the world. Photo by Reuters/Stringer

Senate Bill 892, proposed by California Senators Richard Pan and Scott Wiener, officially recognizes the Lunar New Year, known as Tet in Vietnam, and requires the Governor to honor the festival annually.

According to the bill, all public schools and educational institutions are encouraged to conduct exercises recognizing the traditions and cultural significance of Lunar New Year, the contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Californians to the state, and any local festivities and celebrations of the occasion.

“The passage of this bill recognizes the rich history of one of the most celebrated events worldwide, and demonstrates to the API community in our state, that we are all part of the California family,” Pan said at a recent news conference in front of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

API communities have been a valuable part in the development of California and helped make it what it is today, and this bill is a great way to promote cultural understanding and inclusivity among future generations, Wiener said.

“We now have a great opportunity to embrace and celebrate our API communities. I am proud that California will recognize the significance of Lunar New Year,” said Wiener.

San Francisco, among many other jurisdictions in California, has already designated Lunar New Year as an official school holiday. The state board of education recognized Lunar New Year as a festival of special relevance in 2016.

Lunar New Year is celebrated by millions of Asian and Pacific Islanders around the world, including those living and working in U.S.

In California, there are around 6 million people identified as Asian (2017, United States Census Bureau). California has the highest number and second highest percentage of Asian Americans by state. Among these, more than 600,000 people are Vietnamese (United State Census Bureau)

Tet is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture, and people from all parts of Vietnam and the world try to make it home for the festival celebrations.

It usually falls in January or February. It is an occasion for family unions and pilgrimages, for people to come together and wish each other good fortune in the upcoming year.

 
 
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