WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump issued a statement on Friday, sending greetings and best wishes for a Happy Lunar New Year.
In the statement, Trump said the U.S. Asian-American population is a "diverse and spirited group" and "a unique privilege" of the country. "It is not difficult to notice how deeply they cherish a rich heritage and emphasize the importance of sacred traditions and familial ties."
The American people join with those in Asia and around the world in welcoming the Year of the Dog," Trump said.
"According to tradition, the dog represents qualities such as honesty, reliability, and sincerity. These are virtues that all Americans celebrate and hold dear."
"Today, and every day, we redouble our commitment to maintaining these values in all that we do," he said. "I send my warm greetings to those in the United States and around the world celebrating the Lunar New Year."
"In that spirit, Melania and I send our best wishes for a Happy Lunar New Year as people come together to celebrate this special occasion with family gatherings, fireworks, festivals, and parades," he said.
The Lunar New Year is named after zodiac animals, with a total of 12 zodiac signs on a circle -- Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.