More than 5,000 people have gathered to mark the winter solstice at Stonehenge.

 The attendance was equivalent to five times the number that turned out at Salisbury Plain for last year's event.

More people had been predicted to congregate, as the date coincides with the end of the 5,125-year "long count" cycle of the Mayan calendar.

Druids and pagans are among those who head to Stonehenge each December to watch the sunrise on the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. 'Absolutely packed'

Wiltshire Police said "well over" 5,000 people had gathered to watch the sunrise over the giant stones at 08:05 GMT.

The force said one person was arrested for being drunk and disorderly, and given a fixed penalty notice.

BBC Wiltshire reporter Annie Weston, at the scene, said: "This is the only time when people are allowed into the circle of stones.

"It is absolutely packed. People are cheering and chanting and everybody was looking towards the sun for that special moment.

"There are flags flying, druids here too and people of various religions and faiths."

She spoke with Shelby McCabe, from Honolulu in Hawaii, who said it was "the perfect day".

"All my friends are very jealous that I am here. They would love to be here. They told me to take 1,000 photos which I think I've done," she said.

Donna Nicholson, from Swindon, woke up at 03:00 GMT to get to the stones on time.

She said it was "exciting" to be there for the "new birth of a new era".

The Sun from Solstice to Solstice  Credit & Copyright: Tunç Tezel (TWAN)

This year's solstice date also marks the conclusion of the long count cycle of the Mayan calendar, which some people believe indicates the end of the world.

Although the exact time of the solstice this year - when the Earth's axial tilt is farthest away from the sun - is at 11:11 GMT, English Heritage provided access to the stones earlier in the morning. (Source)

Below is a selection of pictures of Winter Solstice. Enjoy


Photo Source
The winter solstice is the solstice that occurs in winter. It is the time at which the Sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon. In the Northern Hemisphere this is the Southern solstice, the time at which the Sun is at its southernmost point in the sky, which usually occurs on December 21 to 22 each year.

Responses to "Stonehenge crowds gather to mark winter solstice (Video)"

  1. Plainly Magnificent ! The LIGHT in the Universe, Speaking...
    ''I am absorbed in the magic of movement and light. Movement never lies.'' ~ Martha Graham in I AM A DANCER

Write a comment