(The Independent) Google has celebrated Chinese New Year with an animated Doodle on its search page.
This year is the Year of the Horse, which is said to bring prosperity and wealth. Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the Chinese calendar, and this year it will fall on 31 January.
The doodle features an image of a girl on a rocking horse and a boy holding fire crackers and Chinese lanterns.
Celebrations usually begin on Chinese New Year’s Eve, signalling the end of the Year of the Snake. The lunar calendar is based upon the cycles of the moon and has 12 animals, one to represent each year of the lunisolar cycle.
At Chinese New Year people traditionally wear red clothes and give children “lucky money” contained in red envelopes. The colour red symbolises fire to drive away bad luck.
To mark the holiday families typically reunite and gather at each other’s homes to celebrate and eat together. It is also tradition for households to thoroughly cleanse the house to sweep away ill fortune and make way for good luck, to decorate windows and doors with red paper-cuts and to light firecrackers.
Festivities often continue until the Lantern Festival, held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Red paper lanterns are hung across houses and in streets. The highlight of this festival is often considered to be the dragon dance. The dragon is typically made of silk, paper, and bambooand is held aloft as people take it through the streets.
The holiday is centuries old and is celebrated across mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and other Asian countries.