SOLYMONE BLOG

PAGANS GREET SOLSTICE AT STONEHENGE

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STONEHENGE, England: Thousands of neo-Druids, New Age followers and the merely curious flocked to Stonehenge on Sunday, beating drums, chanting and dancing in celebration of the longest day of the year.
  • The ancient stone circle at the prehistoric monument in southern England is the site of an annual night-long party or religious ceremony, depending on perspective marking the northern hemisphere's summer solstice.
    "There has been a great atmosphere and where else would you want to be on midsummer's day?" said Peter Carson of English Heritage, who is in charge of the monument.
  • Camera flashes bounced off the stones through the night until patchy rays of sunlight peaked through the clouds at 4:58 a.m. BST (0358GMT). A weak cheer went up as dawn broke and an estimated 35,000 people, some of them wrapped in blankets, greeted the sunrise.
  • Police arrested about 30 people on charges including drug offenses, assault and drunk and disorderly conduct, but said the event was largely peaceful.
  • "They come for a complete range of reasons," said archaeologist Dave Batchelor of English Heritage, the site's caretaker.
    "Some belong to the Druidic religion and think of it as a temple, others think of it as a place of their ancestors, or for tranquility and others come to see it as a way to celebrate the changing of the seasons."
  • Stonehenge, which sits on Salisbury Plain about 80 miles (130 kilometers) southwest of London, is one of Britain's most popular tourist attractions, visited by more than 750,000 people a year. It was built in three phases between 3,000 B.C. and 1,600 B.C.
Courtesy: Yahoo.News
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