“Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those who will be celebrating the Lunar New Year this Sunday, February 10th. Here in America and around the world, people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent will welcome the Year of the Snake.”

The Chinese New Year is celebrated by billions around the world, and many Asian communities in the U.S. will celebrate the turning of the calendar over the weekend. 2012 was the Year of the Dragon.

“In Chinese tradition, the snake represents wisdom, and a thoughtful approach to tackling the challenges before us — principles that I hope will continue to guide us as we perfect our union and create a more just and equal future for every American,” the statement continued. “Our challenges may be great, but our diversity and the traditions that thrive here give us the strength to meet them. To everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year, I wish you peace, prosperity and good health and fortune.”