Thousands gathered at Stonehenge to celebrate the annual winter solstice.

24 12 2021

Crowds came together for the biggest gathering at Stonehenge since the pandemic began. Thousands of people gathered at Stonehenge on Wednesday morning to celebrate the annual winter solstice. The event, which marks the first sunrise after the longest night of the year, saw 2,500 people visit the World Heritage site in Salisbury – the largest gathering at the 5,000-year-old location since the start of the pandemic. The festivities were also watched by over 55,000 people worldwide, with Druids and Pagans amongst those who marked the occasion.

Druids and pagans were joined by hundreds of others to mark the end of the longest night.

English Heritage allowed access to the site but also live streamed the sunrise for those who wanted to watch at home.

Historians believe the turning of the year was celebrated by the people who erected the stones.

It was the first time since lockdown began in March 2020 that open access was allowed at the World Heritage Site on Salisbury Plain, with about 1,000 people attending.

The curator of Stonehenge, Heather Sebire, told BBC Radio Wiltshire: “The whole monument is orientated to the midwinter sunset and the midsummer sunrise. Today is marking the turning of the year.

As the drumming echoed around the site, everyone, tourists, locals and the religious, turned their faces to the east in unison to greet the sunrise.

People marked the moment in different ways – some quiet, some jubilant – but you could sense a real joy in the air.

Stonehenge Winter Solstice 2021 Links:
Thousands gather at Stonehenge for winter solstice celebration = The Independent
Winter solstice Sunrise at Stonehenge 2021 in photos – Salisbury Journal
Winter Solstice at Stonehenge: Crowds gather for special sunrise at Wiltshire monument – ITV
Stonehenge winter solstice crowd the biggest of pandemic – BBC
Stonehenge Winter Solstice Tours, book now for 2022 – Stonehenge Guided Tours
Dawn again! Stonehenge revellers celebrate the first sunrise after Winter Solstice… – Daily Mail
Experiencing solstice at Stonehenge for the first time – Wiltshire Times

The Stonehenge News Blog
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