Google is officially celebrating the holidays with the launch of its latest Google Doodle. This week features an interactive card that features 17 Christmas or winter scenes from around the world. Santa Claus on a rooftop, Indian classical dancers and colorful Moroccan henna lamps are included in the illustrations in the homepage Doodle.
Users can hover the mouse over the images to get a slightly blown-up view of each picture, and clicking on one will lead to search results pertinent to a specific country or the particular items featured in a scene.
In the past, Google Doodles have used gift bows and snowmen to commemorate the holiday. This year marked the first video (John Lennon) doodle, videogame (Pacman) doodle and a hologram doodle. Doodles were also used to celebrate other events and figures in history, such as children’s author Hans Christian Andersen and American civil rights activist Rosa Parks.
For Google, the goal is to burnish its brand image and engage the legions of people who conduct more than a billion searches a day, without offending any of them. Google estimates it has created more than 900 doodles since 1998, with 270 of them running in 2010. Some appear globally, and others are tailored for local markets outside the U.S., such as Kenya Independence Day.