YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea (Jan. 29, 2014) -- The Eighth Army commander sent a message to the Korean people to mark the Lunar New Year.

Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux wished the Korean people a happy Lunar New Year Jan. 29.

"One of our greatest strengths as an organization is the partnership we enjoy with our Korean allies," said Champoux, calling it "the strongest alliance in the world today."

Known as Seollal in Korean, the Lunar New Year celebration traces its roots back to the Three Kingdom's period in Korea.

It usually occurs on the second new moon following the winter solstice.

Celebrated Jan. 31 this year, the Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the Year of the Horse.

Champoux encouraged American military personnel to reconnect with their families and spend time with their Korean allies.

"I wish our many Korean friends a very happy, healthy, and rewarding New Year," said Champoux, a native of Pittsfield, Mass. "American Soldiers, civilians and families are honored to live in your beautiful country and we look forward to growing stronger together during this new year."