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What is the winter solstice? Google Doodle celebrates the change of season; Today's Google Doodle celebrates the winter solstice.

Byline: Ian Morris

Today'sGoogle Doodlebreaks it to us gently that we're now officially in winter. Having enjoyed a ridiculously warm summer and staggeringly mild autumn it's time to get ready for a big chill.

Of course, as Google points out with its dual Doodles, it's not just winter solstice, but also the Summer Solstice for those in the southern hemisphere.

We've explored this in some detail, socheck out our guide to the winter solstice. But in short, it's the, erm, shortest day of the year.

So that means from now on the days get longer and we're no longer as far away from summer as we were.

The next date is the spring equinox, which marks the end of winter and the start of spring.

When is the first day of Spring 2018 and what is the meaning behind the March Equinox? Date, UK traditions and how to celebrate

The seasons flip on the June 21 2019 when we'll be enjoying our longest day, and the start of summer in the UK.

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.

Today's Google Doodle has two different versions. One depicting the northern hemisphere's winter solstice, and the other celebrates the southern hemisphere's summer solstice.

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The winter animation has a frozen lake with a happy blue chap catching snowflakes. While the summer one depicts a relaxed green man enjoy a float on a peaceful lake.

Google Doodles are the search company's way of celebrating significant people or events. Famous inventors, scientists and even video games have been represented in the past.

Their history dates back to when Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided to take a break and visit Burning Man. A Doodle on the Google homepage was designed to let people know they weren't working.

In the event of Google going offline while they were away people would know why.

But the Doodles have exploded into everything from beautiful artwork to fully playable games as time has gone on.

Google Doodles

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Credit: Getty Images Europe

Winter solstice at Stonehenge where Pagans and Druids celebrate

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Title Annotation:Science
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Article Type:Travel narrative
Date:Dec 21, 2018
Words:387
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