California governor extends greetings for Lunar New Year

California Governor Gavin Newsom joins Asian American communities in celebrating the Lunar New Year on Saturday, with cultural festivities and a call for action against racism.

"Happy Lunar New Year, California!"

Newsom and his wife said, extending their best wishes to welcome the Year of the Dragon via a festive video message posted Saturday on X, formerly Twitter.

Highlighting the tradition of family gatherings, respect for elders, and good fortune symbolized by red envelopes, they encouraged people to draw inspiration from the Dragon's strength and ambition.

"California's particular strength comes from our diverse community. So on Lunar New Year, we take the time to celebrate and to recognize the extraordinary contributions of Asian Americans who are so foundational, so integral as part of our great state," Newsom said.

Beyond the cultural aspect of the celebrations, Newsom earlier emphasized the importance of recognizing the "foundational contributions" of Asian Americans who have shaped the Golden State.

In a proclamation issued on Friday, Newsom acknowledged the "ugly history of violence and discrimination" targeting Asian Americans.

The governor urged Californians to "call out past and present racism" and fight for "the safety and inclusion" of all residents.

In California, vibrant festivities are organized to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday, such as parades and lion dances. The annual Chinatown parade in San Francisco attracted thousands of participants and spectators to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

The Lunar New Year, commonly known as the Chinese New Year in the United States, begins on Feb. 10 this year. According to the Chinese zodiac and tradition, this year is the Year of the Dragon.

The Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays in China and is also celebrated in other Asian cultures.