Today, Google celebrates the alignment of the sun on the face of King Rameses II’s statue in the inner sanctuary of the temple of Abu Simbel – a bi-annual event which occurs on the date of his birth (22nd of February) and the date of his coronation (22nd of October) – the latter also signifying the start of the harvest season for Ancient Egyptians.
The Abu Simbel temple was carved into stone after being commissioned by Pharaoh Rameses II between 1279 and 1213 B.C as his piety to the gods as well as his own deification and in order to celebrate his domination of Nubia. It is located 275 kilometers southeast of the city of Aswan. The original temple was positioned on the bank of the Nile, but it was raised up 60 meters by an international relocation project supported by UNESCO in the 1960’s to save it from flooding. The spectacle of the solar alignment draws thousands of tourists every year to Abu Simbel to watch this unique phenomenon unfold.
The doodle depicts the inner sanctuary of the temple being lit by the sun rays as they hit the faces of the statues of Rameses II alongside the statues of the gods Amun-Ra, Ra-Horakhty except for that of Ptah – god of the underworld – whose statue always remains in darkness.
Doodles are known as the decorative changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate different people, events or special dates such as holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists and scientists. Over the years, doodles on the Google homepage have made searching on Google more fun and enjoyable for its users worldwide. For more about Google doodles please visit: www.google.com/doodles