NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio has made the Lunar New Year an official public school holiday.

He made the announcement Tuesday morning at P.S. 20 in Flushing, Queens.

“We pledged to families we would keep working until we made Lunar New Year an official school holiday, and today we are keeping that promise,” said de Blasio. “We are proud to be the largest school district in the nation to recognize the heritage of our Asian-American community by recognizing Lunar New Year. We thank the legislators and community advocates who worked so hard to make this possible.”

“The addition of Lunar New Year to the public school calendar champions our continued commitment to respecting and honoring the extraordinary diversity of our students,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “This new addition is also a welcome teachable moment in the classroom for our students to learn about the contributions of various cultures. I appreciate the partnership of legislators and community leaders on this effort.”

Parents and legislators had been calling on de Blasio and Fariña to add the holiday to the list for some time. An estimated 15 percent of New York City school children celebrate the Lunar New Year.

“So many families had to choose between celebrating Lunar New Year or sending their kids to school, no family should have to make that choice,” Flushing Councilman Peter Koo said.

As a kid growing up in New York City, Congresswoman Grace Meng said she was perplexed as to why she had to go to school on such an important holiday for her family.

So she made adding the day to the calendar a mission.

“Even people within the Asian community thought it was never gonna happen,” Meng told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

De Blasio made a campaign promise to make the Lunar New Year a school holiday, but it was the state Senate that passed a bill this month forcing the city to add it.

Meng is just happy to see it come to pass.

“I think it’s just a testament to the increasing diversity of New York City,” she said.

Some say the addition finally helps them feel their ethnicity is not being ignored.

“It should have been a long time ago,” Flushing resident Ethan Yifei Zheng told CBS2. “I celebrate Lunar New Year, but I had to go to school, so there was no way to celebrate it.”

This coming school year, Lunar New Year will fall on Monday, February 8. Schools will convert two half days into a single full day to meet the 180-day school year requirement.

New York City joins San Francisco, California, and Tenafly, New Jersey school districts in closing its public schools on Lunar New Year.

In March, de Blasio announced the addition of two Muslim holidays — Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha — to the 2015-2016 year.

There has also been a push to make Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, a holiday.