Lunar New Year is one step closer to being recognized as a holiday in Washington state.
The Washington House of Representatives voted to pass House Bill 2209 on Wednesday. The legislation, introduced by state Rep. My-Linh Thai (D-Bellevue) would establish Lunar New Year as a legislatively recognized holiday.
Thai who immigrated to Washington as a Vietnamese refugee with her family shared that the legislation represents an important milestone for inclusivity and understanding.
“This legislation is a powerful testament to the fortitude and invaluable contributions of the Asian American community,” shared Thai. “We acknowledge our remarkable legacy, built despite facing hardships, discrimination, and violence.”
“By recognizing Lunar New Year, we celebrate vibrant and enduring cultures, and commit to building a more inclusive and equitable Washington for all.”
This legislation builds on a 2023 resolution, HR 4604, and others introduced and passed since 2019 celebrating the Lunar New Year. As a holiday, Lunar New Year not only honors cultural traditions but also underscores the strength and solidarity of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.
“As we step into the Year of the Dragon, let us embrace new beginnings and shared understanding” added Thai. “Let this holiday be a reminder of the richness that diversity brings to our state and a catalyst for fostering genuine connection and inclusivity.
It now heads to the Senate for further consideration.
Meanwhile, Linh’s younger brother, Linh Thai, is pushing the City of Seattle to recognize Lunar New Year.