Volume 31



Lunar New Year officially becomes holiday on 2025 school calendar

Asian-American Culture Club announces beginning next year, Harvard-Westlake will officially take day off for Lunar New Year
Credit to Alice Torosyan ’27

The Asian-American Culture Club announces that beginning next year, Harvard-Westlake will officially take Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2025 off for Lunar New Year. This comes as several students over the past few years have campaigned to have the holiday recognized at school.

Lunar New Year is a time to celebrate the arrival of spring and a new year on the lunisolar calendar. This holiday is celebrated among Southeast and East Asian countries. 2024 is the year of the dragon, symbolizing good health, strength, luck, and power.

In terms of deciding how a holiday is recognized and subsequently whether students should get the day off, Head of Middle School Jon Wimbish said the decision was made by the senior administrative committee.

“This group with Mr. Commons, Mrs. Ross, Ms. Slattery, Ms. Jones, Mr. Barnum, and myself,” Wimbish said. “All us folks kind of put our heads together. And then there’s asking questions of and seeking advice from those who might be more tied into some of these religious celebrations, or cultural celebrations. That’s kind of a glimpse into the process.”

Students emphasized the significance of taking a day off for this important holiday.

“To celebrate the Lunar New Year, I visit family and it is customary to say ‘恭喜发财’ to our grandparents, after which we receive red envelopes,” Collin Bunnak ’27 said.

恭喜发财 (Gōngxǐ fācái) loosely translates to “may you be happy and prosperous.” The phrase originated in the early 1800’s among Chinese immigrants who would wish each other prosperity in their endeavors looking into a new year and life.

“As someone who celebrates Lunar New Year, I’m really happy to hear that we’re given a day off to spend time with family,” Carina Wu ‘27 said. “And we have a really big Asian community at HW, so I’m glad to see that we’re making strides like this in the community.”

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