A new lunar new year is hopping off to a great start and Google is marking the occasion with a series of Google doodles.
The Lunar New Year 2023 began today (Jan. 22) marking the start of the Year of the Rabbit on the lunar calendar, with Google celebrating with an ornate stylized logo with the company’s name inside a hopping rabbit.
“After the first new moon of the Lunar calendar each year, communities around the world set up decorations, make festive food and gather with loved ones to usher in the new year,” Google wrote in a doodle explainer.
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“The traditions of the Lunar New Year festival date back thousands of years to a popular legend. A mythical beast called Nian was known to show up each Lunar New Year’s eve and terrorize people and livestock,” the company added. “Loud noises, the color red and fire scared Nian away, so it became a tradition for families to decorate their doors in red paper, set off fireworks and leave lanterns burning all night.”
The Year of the Rabbit comes after the Year of the Tiger on the lunar calendar.
“This year marks the Year of the Rabbit, which is associated with peace and prosperity,” Google wrote in its description. The Doodle artwork is crafted from paper to honor Chinese paper-cutting (Jianzhi), which is a long-time Lunar New Year tradition.”
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Google released several different versions of its Lunar New Year 2023, including versions for South Korea and Vietnam, where it is known as Tet and kicked off the Year of the Cat.
“Known as Tet in Vietnamese, this holiday is celebrated by communities each year during Tet festival, people often travel to the homes of their extended families and bring in the new year with feasts. Tet festival is traditionally celebrated across three days to spend time connecting with friends and colleagues and visiting temples and ancestral burial sights. During family feasts, people typically eat vegetables, banh chung (sticky rice cake), and cu kieu (pickled scallion),” Google wrote.
“This year marks the Year of the Cat, which is associated with prosperity, cleverness, and skillfulness. The Doodle artwork is crafted from paper to honor the paper folding & cutting art traditionally practiced during Lunar New Year.”
If you’re looking for some amazing sights to mark the lunar new year, Venus and Saturn will shine extremely close together after sunset in a planetary conjunction. You can watch the Venus and Saturn conjunction in a free webcast at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT).