White House Petition Response: Happy Lunar New Year!

The White House
Happy Lunar New Year!

Thanks for your petition! We hope that you’re enjoying the Year of the Snake.

As a kid, President Obama knew what it meant to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Growing up in Hawaii, he was surrounded by friends and neighbors who marked the Lunar New Year with parties and parades.

And he’s not alone. Americans stretching back generations have observed the Lunar New Year. In San Francisco, the city’s famous parade through Chinatown has been a tradition since the Gold Rush. It regularly draws around 1 million spectators, and it’s widely considered to be the biggest event like it outside of Asia.

Marking the Lunar New Year this year, President Obama said, “Here in America and around the world, people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent will welcome the Year of the Snake. In Chinese tradition, the snake represents wisdom, and a thoughtful approach to tackling the challenges before us – principles that I hope will continue to guide us as we perfect our union and create a more just and equal future for every American.”

That’s a statement Secretary of State John Kerry echoed. “On behalf of the American people,” he said, “I am delighted to send my heartfelt wishes for good health, good fortune, happiness, and prosperity to all those around the world celebrating the arrival of the Lunar New Year this February 10.”

And even though it would take an act of Congress to make the Lunar New Year a federal holiday, we’re happy to speak out to ensure that this important celebration is widely recognized and treated with respect. Just like Rosh Hashanah, Easter, or Eid al-Adha, it’s an occasion that makes us richer as a culture and stronger as a people — even without it being a federal holiday.

Tell us what you think about this response and We the People.

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