I'm sure many Michiganders (and their children!) wouldn't mind an extra day off during the year.

This new holiday has been adopted by states like California, Colorado, and most recently New York, but does this mean the door is now open for the State of Michigan to follow suit?

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Well, I shouldn't say "new" holiday because it's been celebrated for thousands of years across multiple countries. While many people use the terms "lunar new year" and "Chinese New Year" interchangeably, "Lunar New Year" is a more general term which includes all ethnic celebrations marking a new year of the lunar calendar.

While not officially recognized as a federal holiday, several states over the last several years have chosen to recognize it as a state holiday. Now, New York State Governor Kathy Hocul has signed a bill into law that allows the state to officially recognize the Asian Lunar New Year as a public and school holiday.

According to the Times Union,

Starting in 2024, Lunar New Year will be a mandatory public school holiday in New York — an unusual move as it is a state-mandated school holiday that is not a federal one...New York City schools have many diverse holidays off, including Lunar New Year. Mayor Eric Adams recently added the Hindu celebration of Diwali.

That's fantastic! But I do have some questions: 1) How does this affect the school calendar? and 2) Where do we draw the line at making various holidays officially recognized?

Perhaps officially recognizing the Lunar New Year makes sense for states with bigger Asian populations, like California, but with Michigan being home to such a large Middle-Eastern population should we opt to focus on those cultural holidays and celebrations instead?

Spokesman Ibrahim Hooper with the Council on American-Islamic Relations tells the Times Union,

There are creative ways to include all of these events in school calendars..We’re encouraged whenever a minority community is recognized in this way and we would hope the American-Muslim community would be similarly recognized. I see it as an encouraging trend

While there are no current plans to add the Lunar New Year in particular, what do you think about adding a couple new holidays to calendars across Michigan?

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