Spring Equinox Google Doodle Celebrates the Start of the 2020 Spring Season

Today's Google Doodle celebrates the Spring Equinox, a day marking the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The Google Doodle features a white rabbit riding in a colorful, patterned hot air balloon, floating across a blue sky with the word "Google" in the background.

Conversely, a Google Doodle that can be seen elsewhere around the world celebrates the start of the Autumn season in the southern hemisphere. The Google Doodle is similar to the Spring Equinox doodle but features a squirrel in a hot air balloon instead of a rabbit.

The hot air balloon is decorated with a purple, orange and yellow argyle print, and there is a gust of autumn leaves floating past. This Doodle can be seen on Google homepages in countries across South America, including Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, and Uruguay.

The equinox occurs twice a year, around March 20 and September 23, when the sun is directly above the equator. The word comes from Latin and means "equal night," as during the equinox, the length of the day and the length of the night are equal.

This year, the Spring Equinox has arrived earlier than it has in more than a century and will take place at 11:50 p.m. ET on Thursday. Following the equinox, the Northern Hemisphere will experience earlier sunrises and later sunsets as the hemisphere tilts toward the sun, while the Southern Hemisphere will now experience shorter days.

Spring Equinox Google Doodle
The Spring Equinox is celebrated on Google Doodle with an image of a rabbit riding in a hot air balloon. Google

Traditionally, people would celebrate the Spring Equinox by gathering at Stonehenge in England, but the event has been canceled and the site closed until May 1 due to concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus. Typically, at the event, hundreds of people gather to hold hands in a circle.

Another holiday being celebrated by Google Doodle today is Nowruz 2020, which can be seen on the Google homepage in Kazhakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan. The Nowruz Google Doodle features flowers, leaves, butterflies, and a worm.

Nowruz recognized as the Persian New Year, as "now" means "new" and "ruz" means "day". Nowruz became a part of UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.

The holiday originated thousands of years ago in Central Asia and the Middle East, in the geographical region known as Persia. An estimated 300 million people worldwide celebrate Nowruz over thirteen days and the Persian community often shares gifts of spring flowers. To say "Happy New Year" in Farsi, you should say "Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak."

There is a fourth Google Doodle today, which can be seen in Spain, Portugal, Bolivia, and Honduras. It features a flower looking down at three peas in a pod and is celebrating those countries' Father's Day.

Correction 3/23/2020: A previous version of this article stated that "Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak" was Arabic instead of Farsi. We regret the error.