New Delhi: Celebrating Christmas in its own distinctive style, Google has come up with new easter eggs this Christmas. With Christmas round the corner, Google has introduced two new easter eggs in line with the festive mood.
On entering "Christmas" or "Merry Christmas" in Google's search box, you will find a blue-coloured strip appearing above the results. The strip features snowflakes falling down and reindeers, with Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer in the front, pulling Santa's sleigh.
There is another easter egg that converts a mobile device into a Christmas Carol karaoke machine. Go to Google.com on your phone's browser and search for "let's go caroling". As you search, you will find a list of 5 playable carols - "Jingle Bells", "Up on the House Top", "Deck the Halls", "O Christmas Tree" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". Tap on any of them and you will find Google playing the karaoke version of the carol. It also allows you to sing along.
Last year, Google had incorporated an easter egg in its search results to mark Festivus, a secular holiday which is celebrated on December 23 as an alternative to Christmas and as a way to commemorate the season without participating in its pressures and commercialism.
On entering "Festivus" into the Google search box, an undecorated aluminum Festivus pole on the left side of the search page showed up. Festivus became part of popular culture after it was featured on an episode of the American TV show Seinfeld in 1997.
Besides, commemorating Christmas, there was another easter egg that Google had introduced last year during Christmas. Last year, when users searched for "Christmas" on Google, it showed them a decorated strip just below the search bar.
Christmas more cultural than religious for many
For a significant number of Americans, Christmas has largely lost its religious meaning, becoming an occasion focused instead on visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts, according to a new survey released Wednesday.
Only half of people who responded to a Pew Research Center poll said they considered Christmas a religious holiday, even though nearly three-quarters said they believed Jesus was born to a virgin. One-third said they viewed Christmas as a cultural celebration.
Church attendance will be higher than usual during the holiday. But of the 69 per cent of respondents who said they attended Christmas worship services as a child, only 54 per cent will do so this year. By contrast, 86 percent say they will gather with extended family or friends and will buy gifts for them.
The survey is the latest to measure the gulf between many Americans and religious life. About 20 per cent of Americans overall say they have no religious affiliation, a figure which is expected to rise among younger generations.
The Pew Christmas study found a similar trend. While two-thirds of people age 65 and older consider Christmas religious, only 40 percent of adults under age 30 agree. Eight-in-10 non-Christians will celebrate the holiday, but mostly as a cultural celebration. A separate Pew poll found about one-third of U.S. Jews had a Christmas tree at home last year.
Not surprisingly, Christians who more closely identify with a faith are more likely to view Christmas as religious.
More than 80 per cent of white evangelicals consider the holiday religious, compared to 66 percent of white Catholics and 60 per cent of black Protestants. Fifty-six percent of white Protestants from what are known as mainline churches consider the celebration more religious than cultural. About half of Hispanic Catholics consider Christmas more religious than cultural, but in several Latin American countries the holiday is customarily celebrated on Epiphany, which falls on January 6.
The survey of about 2,000 people was conducted from December 3 through December 8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 per cent.
(With inputs from AP)