For the first time, NYC public schools close to honor Lunar New Year

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Revelers do a Lion Dance in the Chinese New Year parade in Manhattan’s Chinatown on February 22, 2015 in New York City. (Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Students at New York City public schools will not have school Monday for the Lunar New Year.

This is the first time public schools will be closed to honor the holiday that is celebrated by several Asian communities. The Department of Education tweeted a reminder to all parents Sunday evening.

The holiday comes the same day a winter storm hit the tri-state and forced the closure and delays of other schools systems — notably on Long Island — because of a potentially messy and treacherous commute. A winter weather advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service for New York City and parts of Long Island through Monday evening.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city’s school system would begin recognizing Lunar New Year last June.

Advocates had been pressuring de Blasio for months before the holiday was added to the city’s school calendar. About a sixth of the city’s 1.1 million public school students are of Asian descent, according to Associated Press.

Earlier last year, Muslim holidays Eid al-Firt and Eid al-Adha were added to New York City’s school calendar.

Schools must meet for 180 days. By adding the Lunar New Year, Eid al-Firt and Eid al-Adha to the calendar, students no longer have to choose between fulfilling religious or cultural obligations and upholding school attendance, city officials said when they revealed the calendar changes.

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