The year of the Horse begins February 8, and all 1.1 million city students will have the day off school to celebrate. NY1's Lindsey Christ, has more on the latest addition to the public school holiday schedule.
Public school students are used to having time off on New Year's Day and Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Now, the Lunar New Year will enjoy similar status.
"It's an official school holiday, like Christmas," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The Lunar New Year, which will be February 8 in 2016, is celebrated across Asia and by many of the city's 175,000 public school students of Asian decent. Take P.S. 32 in Chinatown, where less than one-third of the students attended on that day last year.
"The Asian-American community continues to grow and mature, and the move to establish a school holiday is the right and fair decision," said Rep. Grace Meng of Queens.
As a candidate, de Blasio had promised to make it a school holiday, but after he failed to act as mayor, state lawmakers took up the matter, advancing legislation this month to give city students the day off.
Monday evening, the mayor went on Twitter - in English, Korean and Mandarin - to say he's altering the school calendar after all.
"It was taking us time to figure out how to do it right," de Blasio said. "Look, our friends in Albany were very aggressive, and that's part of the legislative process."
Actually, the change mean two more days off for students. Under the plan, two half days of school so teachers could to do administrative work will be replaced on the calendar by one full day of school and the new holiday. Another day off will be created so teachers still have time for administrative work and meetings.
In March, de Blasio designated two major Muslim holidays as days off school. But he says Lunar New Year is the last of the calendar changes.
"I don't intend to make any additions any time in the foreseeable future," he said.
Unsurprisingly, students are happy with the extra days off. Some parents who don't celebrate the holiday don't mind, either.
"Such a large community of Asian-American New Yorkers, and if it is important to them, it will be important to me," said Noah Kaufman, a public school parent.
Lunar New Year is already a school holiday in San Fransico and Tenafly, New Jersey.