US President Barack Obama on Thursday offered his best wishes to all those celebrating the Lunar New Year, calling it "a time for celebration and hope."
"Michelle and I want to send our best wishes to everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders," the president said in a prerecorded message.
"Growing up in Hawaii, I remember all the excitement surrounding the Lunar New Year -- from the parades and the fireworks to the smaller gatherings with family and friends," he said. "It has always been a time for celebration and hope."
"This year, as Americans here at home and around the world welcome the Year of the Dragon, it"s important to remember that our country is stronger because of our diversity. We are richer because of the different cultures that make up this country," the president said.
He wished all who celebrate the new year peace, prosperity, and good health.