Google marks the holiday season / Google

Yesterday's Doodle featured children being pulled along by a reindeer

Google has wished its users a happy holiday season with a Doodle on its front page.

The playful cartoon features a moustached character dressed in a red ski suit, dragging his suitcase across the snow on a sled.

The search engine’s logo has also been transformed, with its primary-colours replaced with a festive blue banner.

Around the world, a wide range of religions and groups hold celebrations in December and January.

Christians will be preparing gifts and feasts to celebrate Christmas on 25 December – four days after pagans marked Winter Solstice.

And since 16 December, Jewish people have been observing Hunukkah, or the Festival of Lights, which lasts for eight days. By lighting eight candles over the course of the holiday, Jews commemorate the rededication of the Temple in 165 BC by the Maccabees after its desecration by the Syrians.

Looking forward to early January, Muslims will remember the life of the Prophet Muhammad during Eid Milad ul-Nabi on 2 January, while on 6 January Orthodox Christians will celebrate epiphany.