Happy Chinese New Year! Google celebrates the Year of the Ox with an animated Doodle

CHINESE New Year is TODAY and Google is celebrating the start of the festivity by creating a special Doodle animation marking the holiday.

But what is this year's zodiac, and what else has Google done to celebrate it?

🐂 Follow our Chinese New Year live blog for the latest information on what the Year of the Ox might have in store for you…

When is Chinese New Year?

The Chinese New Year in 2021 falls on February 12.

Chinese New Year calendar is based on the lunar new year, which marks the start of a new moon.

This year it is the sign of the Ox, according to the Chinese Zodiac.

The Chinese New Year festival usually lasts for for 16 days, starting from Chinese New Year's eve to the Lantern Festival.

In 2021, it is from February 11 to February 26.

How is the Year of the Ox celebrated?

This Lunar New Year marks the official transition out of the Year of the Rat–believed to be one of constant change – and into the Year of the Ox, which is traditionally associated with things moving at a more slow and steady pace.

The Ox is the second animal of the Chinese zodiac and symbolizes hard work, positivity, and fertile harvest.

The Ox occurs every 12 years and is the second animal in the Chinese Zodiac calendar.

Career-wise, the Ox will likely have a chance to obtain recognition for all its hard work this year and will accomplish many goals.

Throughout most of Asia and around the world, the lunar new year is warmly welcomed with traditional foods such as yĂș (fish), nian gao (new year cake), and tang yuan (sweet rice ball).

Also, as depicted in today’s Doodle artwork, Lunar New Year is often celebrated with lively lion dances.

The lion symbolizes power and wisdom, and the spirited dance is performed during numerous Chinese and other Asian cultural and religious festivals to bring good luck and fortune

What is a Google Doodle?

In 1998, the search engine founders Larry and Sergey drew a stick figure behind the second 'o' of Google as a message to that they were out of office at the Burning Man festival and with that, Google Doodles were born.

The company decided that they should decorate the logo to mark cultural moments and it soon became clear that users really enjoyed the change to the Google homepage.

In that same year, a turkey was added to Thanksgiving and two pumpkins appeared as the 'o's for Halloween the following year.

Now, there is a full team of doodlers, illustrators, graphic designers, animators and classically trained artists who help create what you see on those days.

Among the Doodles in 2020 is one celebrating Ignaz Semmelweis, a German-Hungarian physician who discovered that hand-washing dramatically reduced deaths of women during childbirth.

Another Doodle was created for Leap Day 2020 that saw a jumping logo.

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