20/03/2012 06:07 GMT | Updated 20/05/2012 06:12 BST

Marimekko Spring Equinox Google Doodle

A Marimekko-designed Google doodle today celebrates the spring equinox, when day and night are of equal length.

The spring, or vernal, equinox occurred today at 05:14 universal time when the sun crossed directly over the equator. The transition marks the end of winter, and the coming of warmer, brighter months in the northern hemisphere.

Marimekko is one of the leading Scandinavian design houses, noted for its sixties and seventies prints, including the highly recognisable blue flower at the left of the doodle.

Renowned for bright colours and abstract floral prints, the firm has had a recent resurgance in popularity as the trend for Scandinavian design gained a grip on the UK's interiors.

The equinox also marks the celebration of the new year, Nowruz, in Afghanistan, Iran and amongst Kurds and is celebrated in the UK by pagans, and those eager to see the sun again.