To ring in the December holiday season, Google is running a series of Doodles celebrating the many holidays happening globally, including New Year’s Eve.

Today’s global Google Doodle, notably labeled as being “Day 1” of the “December Holidays” series, features a bird that flies in to decorate the usual Google logo with holiday lights. It’s implied from being “Day 1” that Google may plan to shake up the design as the month progresses.

Update 1: As expected, Google has updated the design of the Doodle, this time labeling it as “Days 2 – 30” indicating that these festive holiday lights will remain on the Google logo around the globe for almost the entirety of December. In the updated design, the lights gently flash and twinkle.

Update 2: For New Year’s Eve 2020, Google is continuing their globally visible Doodle series celebrating the holidays of December. The special New Year’s Eve Doodle replaces the second “o” of “Google” with a cuckoo clock which rumbles and seems to be ready to pop.

Coinciding with the new Doodle, Google Search has also launched a small new easter egg, found when searching for “New Year’s Eve.” On the search results page, you’ll find a card that explains the holiday as well as a party popper that shoots confetti over the page.

Every year, Google has a variety of festivities to help you celebrate your favorite year-end holidays, whether you’re celebrants of Christmas, a household for Hanukkah, fine with Festivus, and every tradition in between. This latest Google Doodle, which encourages you to search for the various holidays taking place around the world this December, is a healthy reminder that there are others in the world who celebrate things differently.

With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at some of the more well-known December holidays happening globally. First up, starting on December 10 this year — traditionally happening on the 25th day of the month of Kislev on the Jewish calendar — Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration of a story of miraculous provision. Each night, another candle is lit on the menorah, and sometimes gifts are exchanged at the same time.

Starting on December 21 and running through January 1, there are many who celebrate Yule, a holiday with over a millennium of history and traditions, much of which formed the basis of what many know today as Christmas traditions. Each year, Yule is set to start on the day of the winter solstice.

Every year, on December 23, fans of the show Seinfeld celebrate Festivus by gathering around an aluminum pole and participating in the “Airing of Grievances.” In a year like 2020, it’s easy to imagine folks have quite a few grievances to air. While Festivus rose to popularity in 1997, it was a tradition in the creator’s family for over 30 years.

For most of the world, Christmas takes place on December 25, serving for Christians as a celebration of Jesus’s birth, while many others take it as an opportunity to give gifts of appreciation to friends and family. Interestingly, in some traditions around the globe, Christmas is not a December holiday, but actually falls on January 6, 7, or even as late as January 19.

On December 26, many people both in America and around the globe celebrate Kwanzaa, a holiday rooted in African heritage. First celebrated in 1966, Kwanzaa is a seven-day holiday, with each day highlighting one of the Nguzo Saba — or “seven principles of African Heritage.” Celebrants also mark Kwanzaa with a kinara, a special candelabra with seven candles, one for each day.

Also taking place on December 26, Boxing Day is a long-standing holiday — typically in parts of the globe influenced by England — with two distinct meanings to “boxing.” In one tradition, Boxing Day is the day where churches would open their alms box and give money to the poor. In a more recent tradition, some employers will give their workers a “Christmas box” on Boxing Day to honor their good work of the past year. For most though, Boxing Day is an excuse to visit extended family as well as watch a lot of football.

Lastly, on December 31, we all celebrate New Year’s Eve as the final day of the year and the day after which we can all finally put 2020 behind us. In Japan, this is celebrated as Ōmisoka, with friends and family often gathering for toshikoshi soba — or “year-crossing noodle.”

More Google Doodles:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

Got a tip or want to chat? Twitter or Email.

Kyle Bradshaw's favorite gear