Tags: summer | solstice | stonehenge | celebrators

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge Draws Fewer Celebrators

By    |   Monday, 22 Jun 2015 10:12 AM

About 23,000 revelers gathered for the summer solstice at Stonehenge on Sunday to watch the sun rise and mark the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

New-agers, hippies, Druids, and others danced to the beat of drums, yoga practitioners held a tutorial class, and some visitors kissed the structure's stones as couples renewed their wedding vows, reported The Associated Press.

 


Due to clouds, the sun was only visible for a brief period of time, but the faithful onlookers watched it rise at 4:52 a.m., according to The Daily Mail. Many of those into pagan religions gravitated to the nearby Avebury stone circle.

Although the number of attendees was down from last year’s 36,000 and smaller than the anticipated 30,000 for this year, local police called the celebration a success for its “positive, friendly atmosphere.” There nine arrests for drug offenses and a handful of warnings issued for Class A drugs. According to authorities, there were fewer arrests this year than in previous years.

Stonehenge, which is on the Salisbury Plain 80 miles southwest of London, was built in three phases between 3,000 B.C. and 1,600 B.C., according to EarthSky.org.

The summer solstice occurs when the sun reaches its most northerly point in the sky, which occurred this year on Father’s Day at 16:38 Universal Time, or 11:38 a.m. CDT in North America. Stonehenge onlookers were best able to view the sunrise from the traditional vantage point of facing northeast and gazing toward the opening of what is called the Heel Stone.

Visitors also gather at Stonehenge at the winter solstice, which occurs roughly around Dec. 20, to watch the sun set between three great stones known as the Trilithon, according to EarthSky.org.


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About 23,000 revelers gathered for the summer solstice at Stonehenge on Sunday to watch the sun rise and mark the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.
summer, solstice, stonehenge, celebrators
315
2015-12-22
Monday, 22 Jun 2015 10:12 AM
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