Today is the Spring Equinox, or more popularly the first day of Spring. Flowers are in bloom, sinuses are clogged with allergies. It's the most beautiful but often ominous time for a guy like me, where itchy eyes are sure to follow the chirping birds and growing vegetation.
But I'll give in and agree - we should all celebrate this special day. Google sure has, with a Google Doodle based on the stylings of influential Finnish fashion and textiles company Marimekko, who is known for their bright, but simple design. You've probably seen their influence everywhere - even if you weren't aware of it at the time. Today's doodle is based on the design of eight designers:
The playful Marimekko doodles form the Google logo with a joyful interplay of elements of iconic Marimekko printed textiles by eight renowned designers: Maija Isola, Kristina Isola, Erja Hirvi, Maija Louekari, Aino-Maija Metsola, Teresa Moorhouse, Jenni Tuominen and Katsuji Wakisaka.
Today's Spring Equinox is one of the two equinoxes of each year (the other of course happening in the fall). An equinox occurs at the precise moment when the tilt of the Earth's axis isn't pointed away or toward the Sun. The point in which this occurs varies year-to-year, and in 2012 it occurs at 5:14 UT. The Spring Equinox is also not always on March 20th, although it has been for the last 4 years and will be for the next few years to come.
Although common knowledge would tell you that the Spring Equinox means that on this day, night and day are of exact equal lengths, that's not entirely accurate. The day of equal day and night, called the equilux, actually occurs a few days before the Spring Equinox. Equilux is the day, and equinox is that specific point where the axis tilt is centered.
"We are thrilled about this creative collaboration that got started when Google Vice President Marissa Mayer visited our textile printing factory in Helsinki. Marimekko design is all about understanding the beauty of life just as we encounter it every day - celebrating everyday moments and the special characteristics and nuances of the different seasons. Thus, with the First Day of Spring and Fall doodles, we want to inspire people to free their own creativity and have fun with it - every day and each season," says Mika Ihamuotila, President and CEO of Marimekko.