Chinese folk artists perform during the opening ceremony of the Spring Festival Temple Fair at the Temple of Earth in Beijing, China. / Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The animation shows a goat head-butting a tree, and setting off fireworks

Google has celebrated the lunar Year of the Goat with a playful Doodle on its homepage.

Traditional lanterns hang from stylised trees in the orange-hued animation, as a goat charges and sets off a series of fireworks. The startled animal then sees the firework display light up the sky to spell ‘Google’, and smiles. The occasion sees millions of Chinese people travel home to spend the holiday with their families, in the world’s biggest migration - known as chun yun.

Based on the lunar and solar calendars, the date of Chinese New Year varies, but always falls between late January and mid-February.

To celebrate the lunar New Year, red envelopes, known as hong bao in China and ang pao in Indonesia, are filled with money and given as gifts to symbolise good luck.

For centuries, fireworks have been set off to mark the day, although the country's authorities are urging people to light fewer this week as cities fight a losing battle against air pollution.

Dozens of cites in China have an outright banned lighting fireworks on Wednesday and Thursday, while others have reduced the number of fireworks vendors allowed to operate.

Meanwhile in Singapore, families celebrate New Year with a tradition known as lo hei, which means 'tossing up good fortune' in Cantonese. At the start of family reunion dinners before New Year, raw fish, symbolising the abundance of wealth and long life, is tossed into a salad.

Additional reporting by AP