Google Doodle Friday celebrates the winter solstice – the shortest day and longest night of the year – an astronomical phenomenon also known as midwinter.
As half world gears up to celebrate the entry of summer and the longest day of the year with the summer solstice, the other half will experience the start of winter.
This year, the winter solstice will occur in the southern hemisphere of the equator on 21 June – a day Google has marked with a Google Doodle of the Earth topped with a snowman.
This is all that you have to think about the June 2019 winter solstice.
What’s going on here?
The word “solstice” derives from the Latin sol for “sun” and sistere meaning “to come to a stop or make stand”.
A solstice occurs when the sun achieves its lowest or highest point in the sky during the year as a result of the Earth’s tilted axis.
The June solstice, which happens in the same time for everyone on Earth, is when the northern hemisphere is tilted most closely towards the sun, while the southern hemisphere is tilted the furthest away from the sun.
The solstice denotes the shortest day of the year for those living in the southern hemisphere of the globe and the informal beginning of winter.
During the solstices, the two hemispheres of the globe experience opposite seasons, with the summer solstice bringing warmer weather in the northern hemisphere and colder weather in places such as Australia, New Zealand, South America and South Africa.
When is the next solstice?
On 21 December, the southern hemisphere experiencing its summer solstice and longest day of the year.
How is the solstice celebrated?
In ancient times, the southern hemisphere’s winter solstice was celebrated with Inti Raymi, a festival that honoured Inti, the Inca religion’s sun god, according to National Geographic.
In other parts of the southern hemisphere, bonfires were lit and offerings were left in the hopes of reigniting the sun.