January 28, 2017
Lunar New Year 2017
With traditional foods, glowing lanterns, and lots of red, today’s Doodle welcomes the Year of the Rooster.
A time of celebration with family and friends, Lunar New Year falls on the first new moon between January 21 and February 20 each year. While this means the date is always changing, the traditions surrounding the holiday have long been the same. In the US, Asian-American communities host festivals across the country – the oldest and largest of which is in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
At these events, red decor and envelopes abound, while lion dancers, giant puppets, and firecrackers fill the streets. Legend has it that many of these traditions stem from fending off the Nian, a mythical beast that would attack an ancient village each New Year’s Day. With the help of a mysterious old man, villagers discovered that the creature was afraid of the color red, as well as loud noises — and so the festivities began. Although the Nian never did return, the celebrations most certainly did.
Here’s to health, happiness, and good fortune in the new year!