Legislature Passes Bill to Officially Recognize Lunar New Year in California

Bill authored by Dr. Richard Pan and Senator Scott Wiener designates the Lunar New Year as a day of special significance in California
August 9, 2018

Sacramento Today, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 892 by Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to officially recognize Lunar New Year in the State of California. SB 892 is co-authored by Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco.) The bill now goes to the Governor for final approval.

SB 892 designates Lunar New Year as a day of special significance in California and requires the Governor to honor Lunar New Year annually. Also under SB 892, all public schools and educational institutions will be encouraged to conduct exercises recognizing the traditions and cultural significance of the Lunar New Year, the contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Californians to the state, and any local festivities and celebrations of the occasion. 

In addition, to Dr. Pan, Senator Wiener, and Assemblymembers Ting and Chiu, SB 892 is co-authored by Senators Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) and Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove), and Assemblymembers Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), and Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks).

“Millions of people in California celebrate the traditions of the Lunar New Year that are transmitted from one generation to the next,” said Dr. Pan, State Senator representing the Sacramento region. “This bill will help recognize 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.”

“I am honored to have worked with Senator Pan to move this bill through the Legislature, and am thankful to all of my colleagues for supporting this effort,” said Senator Scott Wiener. “Our Asian and Pacific Islander communities have played a key role building California and making it what it is today. For many years, California mistreated our API communities, including adopting discriminatory laws. 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.”

Lunar New Year falls generally on the second new moon following the winter solstice, which this year is February 16.  Lunar New Year is celebrated by millions of Asian and Pacific Islander Californians at community events that illustrate the state’s rich cultural history and commitment to racial, religious, and cultural diversity. Many jurisdictions in California, including the City and County of San Francisco, have 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 its third grade curriculum in 2016.