For the first time, the Philippines celebrate the Chinese New Year as a non-working holiday throughout the country.
In Proclamation No. 295 issued last Nov. 24, Philippine President Benigno Aquino said the declaration of the Chinese New Year as a special non-working holiday would give both Chinese- Filipinos and Filipinos alike the opportunity to celebrate the holiday.
A special non-working holiday in the Philippines means there will be no classes in schools and public and private offices will be closed.
"On Jan. 23, 2012, Chinese nationals all over the world will celebrate Spring Festival, popularly known as the Chinese New Year, which is one of the most revered and festive events celebrated not only in China but also in the Philippines by both Chinese- Filipinos and ordinary Filipinos as well," President Aquino said in the proclamation.
Aquino said that the joint celebration "is a manifestation of our solidarity with our Chinese-Filipino brethren who have been part of our lives in many respects as a country and as a people."