Google’s St. Patrick’s Day doodle skips the shamrocks

Most of Google’s doodles that celebrate St. Patrick’s Day have included the iconic green shamrock, but the 2012 version conspicuously lacks any vestiges of the three-leafed clover. Instead, visit Google’s homepage today and you’ll find an ornate calligraphic rendering of the company’s name.

According to The Washington Post, the doodle was created by 24-year-old Google artist Jennifer Hom who used as her inspiration the Irish “Book of Kells,” a collection of manuscripts crafted by early medieval Celtic monks to illuminate the Christian biblical gospels.

As a result, her doodle is much different from others Google has featured on its site. Noticeably lacking anything like a leprechaun or other Irish clichés, the artwork instead includes Celtic knots, multicultural symbols, and rich coloring. Hom said it took 40 hours in four days to create the doodle.

It’s not an interactive doodle like some other have been; clicking on it only takes you to a Google search results page for “St. Patrick’s Day” where you can learn that the cultural and religious holiday commemorates St. Patrick who lived from 387 to 461 AD, as well as the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. While one may wonder why a new Doodle is newsworthy considering Google has made so many of them over the years, the fact remains that plenty of people still get a kick out of them. And for the search engine giant it works out to be an effective mechanism to get masses of people to stop by its site.

Here’s a video that shows how St. Patrick’s Day doodles have looked over the years.

And here’s a reminder Google doodle fans might find interesting: Google is currently accepting entries in its fifth annual “Doodle 4 Google” contest in which U.S. students in grades kindergarten through high school can submit art around the theme “If I could travel in time, I’d visit…” The winner will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, a Chromebook, a Wacom Digital design tablet, and a T-shirt printed with his or her doodle on it. The national winner, four national finalists and all 50 state finalists will score a trip to New York City on May 17.

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