New Delhi: A floral doodle called the "First Day of Summer" by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami marks the summer solstice on the Google home page. Murakami was, in 2008, one of Time magazine's 100 most powerful people.
The summer solstice typically occurs on June 21 in the northern hemisphere and December 22 in the southern hemisphere. Though in some years it also happens a day earlier, on June 20 and December 21.
The solstice happens twice in a year, during summer and winter. On a solstice the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator.
During the summer solstice days are the longest and nights shortest and the opposite of this happens on the winter solstice.
For a dozen years, Google has been occasionally swapping its everyday logo for a "doodle," a sketch celebrating holidays, inventions, artists and sporting events, and showcasing designs from contest-winning students.
While the Google doodle marks the summer solstice with a "First Day of the Summer" doodle, the summer solstice from an astronomical view marks the middle of the summer season and the summer solstice is also referred to as 'midsummer.'