For folks living in the northern hemisphere, today is summer solstice, or the day with the longest period of daylight. At the same time, folks in the southern hemisphere will be experiencing winter solstice, or the shortest period of daylight in the year.
To mark both these events, Google commissioned Japanese artist Takashi Murakami to create special Google doodles. Murakami is an extremely popular and prolific artist who made it to Time’s “100 Most Influential People” list in 2008. The doodles created by Murakami are (somewhat misleadingly) titled “First Day of Summer” and “First Day of Winter”, and are being displayed by Google across the world. Which of the two you end up getting served depends on the Google Search country-level domain that you are using. For example, Google Search India and France are displaying the summer solstice doodle, while Google Search Brazil and South Africa are serving the winter solstice variant.
First Day of Summer
First Day of Winter
Google first changed its logo to commemorate the Burning Man Festival of 1998. It was simply done by Page and Brin to notify users of their absence in case the servers crashed. Since then, Google has changed its logo to mark a wide range of events of varying significance. Their doodles have evolved from being static images to being impressive animations and interactive objects, and have become a medium for both making social statements and expressing creativity. Check out our archives for a collection of some of the best Google doodles.