Google welcomes Lunar New Year 2023 with Year of the Bunny Doodle
Sunday marks the start of a new year – the Lunar New Year.
On this day, also known as Chinese New Year, we bid farewell to the Year of the Tiger and welcome in the Year of the Rabbit. Called the Spring Festival in China, the holiday is traditionally a time to honor deities and ancestors.
Joining in the Lunar New Year celebration, Google has created a Doodle that welcomes the Year of the Rabbit, the fourth animal in the 12-animal zodiac. In Asian cultures, the rabbit symbolizes grace, beauty, mercy and luck. The Doodle artwork is made from paper to honor the Chinese paper cutter Jianzhi, which dates back to the second century.
A popular legend dating back thousands of years claims that a mythical beast would emerge at the beginning of the year from under the Earth and terrorize the villagers. Since the beast, Nian (Chinese for “year”), was afraid of bright lights, loud noises, and the color red, they were used to exile the beast.
While the New Year is generally associated with a fresh start in many cultures, the Lunar New Year is seen as a time of reunion and rebirth, marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Unlike the holidays tied to the solar Gregorian calendar, the traditional Chinese calendar marks the days of the year through the ancient Chinese lunisolar calendar system, which bases the months on the phases of the moon.
Houses are carefully cleaned to sweep away bad luck to make way for good luck, and fireworks ward off evil monsters and bad luck. The festivities usually last around two weeks and begin with a nighttime parade featuring floats, dragons, dancers and musicians.
Google is also joining in the celebration by planting a search easter egg that sets off fireworks on its results page when you search for Lunar New Year-related terms, including the Year of the Rabbit.
You can wish someone a Happy Chinese New Year with the Cantonese greeting “Gong hei fat choy”.