The autumn equinox, which marks the first day of autumn, has been celebrated in Google’s latest Doodle.The short animation shows a cartoon figure turn five grey trees into the brown and golden colours of autumn as it hops by.
As the cartoon stops to admire his work, the leaves fall from the trees, leaving the word ‘Google’, spelled out in the naked branches of the trees and a single red leaf balancing on the figure’s head.
Equinox, from the Latin for ‘equal night’, occurs when the Earth’s axis tilts neither towards nor away from the Sun, making day and night of roughly equal length – though not exactly.
In the southern hemisphere, the equinox marks spring rather than summer.
This meanings anyone residing at the South Pole will be seeing the sun for the first time in half a year, while those in the North Pole will be preparing for six months of darkness.
Pagans mark the festival of Mabon on this day (Picture: Getty Images)
While the start of autumn is a handy reminder for most of us to start wearing a coat, the September equinox has historically had huge cultural and spiritual significance to cultures across the world.
The pagans among you, for instance, may have travelled to Stonehenge this morning to mark the festival of Mabon and watch the sun rise between the stone columns.