Google 'Doodles' add more Chinese elements

Updated: 2013-08-15 21:00

By Zhang Zixuan (

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Dubbed Chinese Valentine's Day, the Qixi Festival falls on the seventh day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar. In Chinese mythology, this is the only day all year that Niulang, the cowherd, and Zhinu, the weaver girl — who were separated to opposite sides of the Milky Way as punishment for their forbidden love — can meet via a bridge temporarily formed by a flock of magpies.

Google 'Doodles' add more Chinese elements

Google's logo on its home page was replaced by an interactive Web game for Chinese Valentine's Day on Aug 13, 2013.[Photo provided to]

On Aug 13 — this year's Qixi Festival — whether the two lovers would have their annual reunion became the call of millions of Google users.

The search engine's logo on its home page was replaced by an interactive Web game for the day. The three-level game required players to successfully put different-colored magpies in the right place to form a bridge in limited time to let the two lovers meet; otherwise they fell into a river.

The game quickly became a hot topic discussed on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, soon after it was launched. Neitizens posted their best times to learn who could accomplish the task the fastest.

"The original Chinese flavor plus advanced technology made the game very interesting," commented a netizen using the name hayeen.

Some single writers joked that they enjoyed watching the couple drop into the river.

The game and many other transformed images of Google's logo are called "Doodles", which are adaptations launched on special days to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers and scientists.

The newest adaptation for Qixi Festival is an example of Chinese elements integrated into Doodle designs. It took Doodle engineer Yuan Feng three months to write the codes using technologies including HTML5 and JavaScript.

"We want to make the couple's reunion less boring," he said.

"It's a festival that we've created Doodles for many times in the past. This year we wanted to create a fun, interactive game with the goal of getting the two lovers together," said illustrator (Doodler) Brian Kaas, who designed the images for the game.

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