CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Software

Summer Solstice Google Doodle celebrates longest day

You might not know it by looking out of the window, but today is the height of summer. The Google home page is celebrating the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.

You might not know it by looking out of the window, but today is the height of summer. The Google home page is celebrating the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.

At 6.15pm today, the Earth leans furthest towards the Sun, meaning that people around the world enjoy the longest period of sunshine. Here in the UK, morning has broken at 4.43am and the sun sets tonight at 9.21pm, for a total of 16 hours and 38 minutes of glorious, blazing, rain-soaked cloud-covered sunshine.

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami created the colourful anime-style image specially for the Google home page. It's called The First Day of Summer, for some reason, which suggests something may have been lost in translation in the process.

Still, you'd be forgiven for wondering if we really are in the middle of summer, judging by the weather. The June monsoon of past weeks has arrived just in time for Wimbledon and Glastonbury, both kicking off this week.

Tennis and music aren't the only things being worshipped today: the Solstice, also known as Midsummer, Gathering Day or Litha, is a traditional spiritual festival. Many cultures around the world lend the day spiritual significance, often equating the day with the harvest or with fertility. More than 18,000 pagans and revellers gathered at dawn at Stonehenge and other pagan sites, to celebrate the majesty of the Sun and compare beards.

Google may be celebrating the sun today, but recently it was the Moon lighting up the search engine home page with a clever interactive lunar Eclipse Google Doodle. There's been a bunch of great Google Doodles lately, from pioneers of modern dance, steam power or space exploration. And there was the Mr Men doodle that celebrated Roger Hargreaves.

When the sun sets tonight, it's time for the slow slide towards dark days and cold nights. We'd suggest you stop reading this and go make the most of the sunshine, but there doesn't seem to be any.