Today's Google Doodle is an Ode to the Winter Solstice

And one of the most well-known winter solstice celebration is Yule, the pagan tradition of welcoming the sunrise with gratitude.

Astrologer Susan Miller told Newsweek that people should "take it easy" on December 21 and not make big decisions or begin long trips, which is unsettling news considering millions are starting their Christmas vacation today. In pre-Christian times pagans held a 12-day festival at winter solstice to celebrate the rebirth of the sun god.

Today is the shortest day with seven hours and 50 minutes of daylight.

To celebrate the astronomical phenomenon of the solstices Google has created two of its famous Doodles. Eastern Time. It falls between Dec. 21 and 22, and occasionally Dec. 20 or Dec. 23 because modern calendars don't match the solar year, according to the Weather Channel.

That's when the sun reaches its most southerly excursion - directly over the Tropic of Capricorn.

Clicking the Google Doodle takes users to a search page for "Winter Solstice 2017", which offers new articles, tweets and other search results on the Winter Solstice.

With the sun positioned so far to the south the tilt of the Earth leaves the Arctic Circle entirely in the dark.

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All this means the United Kingdom experienced a late sunrise at 8.04am this morning and will see an early sunset at 3.53pm this afternoon.

While the earth's rotation pattern is predictable, winter solstice doesn't occur on the same day every year.

The amount of daylight you'll see on the solstice depends on your latitude, or distance from the equator.

"As the days lengthen, the cold strengthens".

This delay in the arrival of our coldest temperatures is better known as seasonal lag.

HollywoodLifers, are you a winter person or a summer person?

  • Carlos Nash