Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Google is marking the beginning of the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere with a new animated Doodle.
Google's homepage features an animated sequence which features a cartoon character with an acorn-shaped head standing on ice. A large creature then emerges from the bottom of the ice to help the character grab a snowflake from the sky.
The winter solstice brings about the longest night of the year for the Northern Hemisphere where the sun will be at its lowest position.
Countries around the world celebrate winter solstice including China where it is referred to as Dongzhi Festival, a celebration of winter's arrival that includes the eating of rice balls known as tang yuan.
Google also marked the summer solstice taking place in the Southern Hemisphere by releasing an animated Doodle which features the same corn-shaped head character enjoying a sunny day out on a pond as the large creature emerges from underneath a lily pad.
The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year for the Southern Hemisphere.