Search engine major Google on Saturday came up with a new doodle on its homepage celebrating the winter solstice.

Known as the ‘first day of winter’, winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, and is the day when the sun reaches the southern most point in the sky.

Post the winter solstice, celebrated either on December 21 or December 22, the sun begins moving northward. For countries located in the northern hemisphere, the days start turning longer.

The animated Doodle, created by German illustrator Christoph Niemann, shows a scarf and glove being knitted into the shape of Google's logo.

Solstices happen twice a year, during summer and winter. On a solstice the sun is at its greatest distance from the equator.

During the summer solstice days are the longest and nights shortest and the opposite of this happens on the winter solstice.

Interestingly, winter solstice is celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere in June, when summer solstice or ‘the first day of summer’ is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere.

On June 22, 2011 Google had posted a floral 'first day of summer' doodle on its India home page.

abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 21, 2013)
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