The Lunar New Year: Increasing trend of official recognition by US states
By Dr. Katherine Schlatter

The Lunar New Year,  also known as the Spring Festival is celebrated in many Asian countries including China, South Korea, Vietnam, and Singapore, to name only a few. However, increasingly many cities and places outside of Asia also mark the Spring Festival with a public holiday. This is  true in the United States where there is a trend to acknowledge the festival with an official holiday in a numbers of states. California was the first state to make the Lunar New Year into a public holiday in late 2022. Colorado was next,  New York, and then New Jersey followed in 2023.  The city of Boston, independent of Massachusetts also declared it an official holiday last year.

This Month

A Lunar New Year Craft By Nikita Lai Jing Tse that connects the meaning of  Spring to key concepts of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).

Discover more

Emily Price writing for Fast Company recently reported on the failed attempt by lawmakers in Washington State to institute a state holiday marking the Lunar New Year.  However she added:

"The bill failed once, but is being put forth again, with the request being framed as the state’s response to the anti-Asian hate crimes that have happened in Washington and elsewhere in the country." 

Ms. Price explains further that this renewed effort is a signal to show respect to the Asian diaspora within Washington State but to all Asian Americans. Read more about the Federal efforts in her article here. 

At THENCE we stand against hate. Indeed, one of many major messages from the Lunar New Year is that of respect, honor, and renewal for the year to come. We renew our pledge to counter racism and support efforts against anti-Asian hate crime. In the school setting culturally responsive teaching and effective social emotional development may be implemented to achieve the goal of countering hateful speech, actions and prejudice from an early age.

This year the THENCE Team member Nikita Lai Jing Tse created a craft that educates about the Spring Festival, introduces the Chinese character for the word "Spring”, and aligns the craft with developmentally leveled  teaching for Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Intentionally teaching children about the sentiments of gratitude, respect, and forward thinking for envisioning a positive and productive year to come are key facets of our SEL framework. 

Watch and apply the lessons from our  interactive video for making this  craft , and take further instruction, ideas and tips to your classroom by visiting This Month here. This Month is a webzine for educators, school leaders and staff and is updated with seasonally appropriate classroom activities, resources for professional developmental,  and a fresh take on building community in your classroom and school..

If your school acknowledges or celebrates the Lunar New Year we would like to hear from you! Please write to us and share your thoughts below.

Separate email addresses with a comma.
Make a Box: a hands-on activity offers an opportunity for metacognition
by Dr. Katherine Schlatter