(Extensions of Remarks - January 21, 2004)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E29]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                     CELEBRATION OF LUNAR NEW YEAR


                           HON. NANCY PELOSI

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, January 21, 2004

  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to represent a vibrant 
and strong Asian American and Pacific Islander community that is a 
historic part of San Francisco's world-renowned diversity, and I rise 
today to recognize the celebration of the Lunar New Year, the most 
cherished Chinese festival.
  The Lunar New Year marks the beginning of a new season and is a time 
of renewed hope. It is considered a time to sweep away misfortune and 
to welcome the New Year with hopes of good luck, prosperity, and 
excellent health.
  The Lunar New Year celebration begins on the new moon of the first 
day of each year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. Family is a 
major focus of the Lunar New Year celebration, and participants pay 
great respect to their ancestors who laid the foundations for the well-
being of their families. The Lantern Festival, which concludes the 
celebration with a parade of brilliant lanterns, the music of drums, 
and a dragon dance performed by youth, is especially beautiful.
  By the Chinese calendar, this is the year 4,701, the Year of the 
Monkey. The Monkey represents the inventor and innovator and symbolizes 
growth and development. In many ways, the Monkey epitomizes the 
entrepreneurial spirit of my district in San Francisco and our ability 
to overcome great challenges.
  The U.S. Postal Service recently issued its Year of the Monkey Stamp, 
the final in its spectacular Lunar New Year commemorative stamp series. 
It has been a great pleasure to celebrate the 12 years of the Chinese 
Zodiac with the stamps designed by artist Clarence Lee, and I am proud 
to display these beautiful images on the walls of my office. Thank you 
to the Organization of Chinese Americans, to the U.S. Postal Service, 
and to the leaders of San Francisco's Chinese American Community for 
your hard work to make this wonderful series a reality.
  By percentage, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the 
country's fastest growing ethnic group, and the community is a dynamic 
part of our nation. The Lunar New Year is a wonderful opportunity to 
recognize the immeasurable contributions of Asian American and Pacific 
Islanders to all aspects of American life, including the arts, 
education, sports, medicine, religion, and politics. It is my pleasure 
to join with so many of my constituents and with Asian American and 
Pacific Islanders across the country to celebrate the Lunar New Year.