Google celebrates the winter solstice of 2019 with a doodle as December 22 is the first day of winter – also, the shortest day and the longest night of the year for the Northern Hemisphere. It is a phenomenon that occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. Google celebrates the day with a cute snowman doodle for Winter Solstice 2019. The day happens only once a year and falls in December every year.

December 22 is the moment at which Earth’s axis will tilt the Northern Hemisphere, farthest from the sun’s warmth. Today, the Sun is at its lowest daily maximum elevation in the sky. At the pole, there is continuous darkness around the winter solstice.

The word solstice is originated from the Latin ‘solstitium’ meaning “sun stands still”, when the ‘movement of sun’s path’ stops briefly. The winter solstice is also known as midwinter. Other names are the “extreme of winter”, or the “shortest day”. Traditionally, in many temperate regions, the winter solstice is seen as the middle of winter, but today in some countries, it is seen as the beginning of winter. In meteorology, winter is reckoned as beginning about three weeks before the winter solstice.

Earlier, people on the Earth built monuments to follow the sun’s yearly progress, for example, Stonehenge in England. At sunrise at Stonehenge on the longest day of the year, the rising sun appears behind one of the main stones, creating the illusion that the sun is balancing on the stone. The monument was closed for 16 years and in 2000, the site was reopened to the public.

At this time of year, each day is about 24 hours, 30 seconds long. It’s because Earth is nearing its closest point to the sun in its elliptical orbit.