Governor Brown Signs 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 26, 2018

Sacramento – On Friday, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 892 by Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), which officially recognizes Lunar New Year in the State of California. SB 892 was co-authored by Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).

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. “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.”

“I am honored to have worked with Senator Pan to move this bill through the Legislature, and signed into law,” said Senator 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 is an important cultural holiday for millions of Californians, especially for our API communities,” said Assemblymember Chiu. “I am proud that California has taken this step to recognize the significance of Lunar New Year and celebrate the traditions so many of us hold dear.” 

“I applaud Governor Brown for signing SB 892,” said Assemblymember Ting. “An annual proclamation of the Lunar New Year encourages schools to participate in the holiday’s traditions and discuss the accomplishments of API Californians across our state. It’s a great way to promote cultural understanding and inclusivity to our children.”

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.