Google on Sunday dedicated its doodle to winter solstice the shortest day and the longest night of the year — phenomena that occur when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun.
The word “solstice” comes from the Latin solstitium meaning “sun stands still”, when the ‘movement of sun’s path’ stops briefly.
The doodle features an animated figure ice skating above a mouse hole with what appears to be collected food for hibernation. The animation ends with the figure rolling into the hole while covered in snow.
In the Northern Hemisphere, it is the December solstice and in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s June solstice.
This day is also host to many religious observances and celebrations.
Winter solstice also known as hibernal solstice has various astronomical beliefs and stories attached to them. The day of the winter solstice was considered a host to various rituals and customs in the olden days.
In December, the Earth is tilted on its axis in such a way that sun appears at its lowest in the sky at noon. In the southern hemisphere, it will be at its highest at noon.
The Chinese refer to the Winter Solstice as Dongzhi Festival while the locals enjoy rice balls meaning “family reunion.” This treat is said to bring prosperity and unity-something all of us can enjoy on this auspicious day.