Celebrating the longest, brightest day of the year by… staying inside and staring at a collection of moving pixels? It’s the American way, damnit!
So please enjoy Google’s new, adorable, slightly hypnotic Doodle, which pictures five open-water swimmers in Google-colored caps being lazily buffeted up and down by an ocean wave. The animation commemorates the Summer Solstice, which we’re all currently in the thick of – it technically began today at 1:04 a.m. ET, when the sun rose directly over the Tropic of Cancer, above the Chinese Province of Yunnan (according to New York City’s Hayden Planetarium).
If you’re a Christian in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, or Russia, you’ll fete the occasion in a few days with Kupala Night, a celebration of St. John the Baptist that also incorporates some old-school pagan rituals. If you’re a straight-up pagan, get thee to Stonehenge, where there ain’t no party like a druid party (‘cause a druid party has robes). And if you’re one of the Mapuche people of southern Chile and Argentina, the sun’s position means that it’s almost your New Year – though from where you’re standing, this is actually the Winter Solstice.
If you’re none of the above, just plan to drink a beer outside after work while staring at the horizon – and remembering that it’s all downhill from here, sunlight-wise. At least we’ve got one more celestial event to look forward to: there’s a sweet-sounding “supermoon” coming up this Sunday.