This past weekend marked the summer solstice, also known as the official start of summer, and thousands of druids, hippies and pagans gather at Stonehenge to watch the Sun rise and celebrate the event.
Known to everyone for being the longest day of the year, the summer solstice brought together no less than 23.000 according to law enforcement officials, which was surprisingly less than last year, when 36.000 people came to celebrate the day at the neolithic site.
Despite the cloudy weather, most attendants were happy to be there, and expressed great excitement around 5:42 am, when the Sun finally came over the horizon and they were able to get a look at it. They beat some drums and many cameras were pointed at the stone circle just as the Sun shinned over the structure.
Some visitors expressed joy, saying that this year’s summer solstice sunrise was one of the best that they had ever seen. Police officials were deleted as well, with one of the officers informing that it was one of the years light on arrests, with only nine (9) people being cuffed for drug related offences.
Supt Gavin Williams of the Wiltshire police operation gave a statement saying that “Solstice 2015 has been a great success with approximately 23.000 people celebrating at Stonehenge in the positive, friendly atmosphere as they waited for the sunrise”.
He went on to stressed that attendants are the only ones responsible for the success of yearly even and the this year was a good one.
The summer solstice was important to ancient humans for a few different reasons. Professor Anthony Aveni from a Colgate University in Hamilton, whose expertise is in astronomy and anthropology, explains that the Sun was one of the very first things that ancient humans used in order to keep track of time. But more than that, the very idea of fire was linked to purity and fertility in medieval Germany.
In Britain, Stonehenge had religious implications for the druids. It was seen as a Sun temple right from the start, with the structure being deliberately arranged so that the person sitting in the middle of the stone circle would be able to capture the Sun’s disk inside the Heel Stone gateway, that’s at the north-east.
As we all wait for the days to keep getting shorter until December, when the winter solstice takes place, the internet is sure to fill up with more photos from the vent each day.
Image Source: prehistoricshamanism.com