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Google Doodle helps usher in Lunar New Year 2021

Welcome the Year of the Ox.

Welcome the Year of the Ox.

With an eye on putting the past behind us, here's some good news: Friday is a new year -- the Lunar New Year.

On this day, also known as the Chinese New Year, we bid farewell to the Year of the Rat and welcome the Year of the Ox. Referred to as the Spring Festival in China, the holiday is traditionally a time to honor deities and ancestors.

Fireworks are set off to ward off evil monsters and bad luck. The festivities typically last about two weeks, kicking off with a nighttime parade featuring floats, dragons, dancers and musicians. And while this year's celebrations are expected to be more subdued than usual, the spirit can't be dampened.

Joining in the celebration of the new lunar year, Google created a Doodle that welcomes the Year of the Ox, which symbolizes hard work, serenity and fertile harvest in the 12-animal zodiac.

The ox is flanked by lively lions, which represent power and wisdom. A spirited dance of the lion is performed at festivals around the world to bring good luck and fortune. 

The trio are framed by traditional hanging Chinese lanterns, which typically decorate houses and public places as a symbol of hope and joy.

Here's hoping the new year delivers.