Google Doodle Celebrates Lunar New Year 2023
The Doodle today celebrates Lunar New Year, a major holiday in several Asian cultures. During the first new moon of the lunar calendar each year, communities around the world set up decorations, prepare festive food, and gather with loved ones.
Lunar New Year celebrations date back thousands of years to a popular legend. During Lunar New Year’s eve, a mythical beast called Nian was known to terrorize people and livestock. Nian was scared away by loud noises, the color red and fire, so it became a tradition for families to decorate their doors with red paper, light fireworks, and keep lanterns burning all night.
As part of Lunar New Year celebrations, people continue to hang red lanterns in the streets and give money in red envelopes to children and retired seniors. Throughout the world, traditional meals are popular during celebrations. For example, pineapple tarts and yusheng (a dish with raw fish and a salad) are a staple in Singapore and Malaysia, while communities in Vietnam enjoy bánh chưng (a rice cake made with mung beans, pork, and other ingredients wrapped in bamboo leaves).
This year marks the Year of the Rabbit, which is associated with peace and prosperity. The Doodle artwork is crafted from paper to honor Chinese paper-cutting (Jianzhi), which is a long-time Lunar New Year tradition.