Stonehenge Spring Equinox (Vernal) Managed Open Access 2021 Cancelled.

13 03 2021

Owing to the pandemic, and in the interests of public health, there will be no Spring Equinox gathering at Stonehenge this year.  People wanting to watch the sunrise to mark the first day of spring have been told not to travel to Stonehenge. English Heritage maintains it cannot host the usual celebrations at the prehistoric monument on 20 March due to safety concerns.

The spring equinox is one of the rare occasions that English Heritage opens up the stones for public access. Equinox open accesses attract fewer people than the Solstices – in the several hundreds rather than tens of thousands – and there are modern Druid ceremonies which are held in the circle around dawn, so if you prefer a quieter experience then attending a future Equinox is a good choice.

English Heritage, which manages the site, has cancelled the event and remains closed Stonehenge until 12th April following government advice on coronavirus. About 800 people usually gather at the Wiltshire monument, on or around 20 March, to mark the spring equinox.

The Spring, or Vernal, Equinox is the point at which the sun crosses the equator, returning to the northern hemisphere, the point when day and night are at equal length.  The exact time of the 2021 Spring (Vernal) Equinox is at 09.37am The spring equinox is one of the rare occasions that English Heritage opens up the stones for public access. While touching the stones has been banned since 1977, rules had been traditionally relaxed during the summer and winter solstice, as well as the spring and autumn equinox, allowing people to get closer to the stones.

English Heritage is continuing to plan for the 2021 summer solstice.
English Heritage are having a Round Table Group meeting in April to discuss the summer solstice celebrations and have issued a brief statement:

The main item on the agenda will of course be Summer Solstice 2021 at Stonehenge where we welcome your input into plans for access to Stonehenge. While we at English Heritage remain cautiously optimistic about being able to offer access in some form, I would ask that attendees bear in mind that there is likely to still be some uncertainty on how to proceed as we continue to navigate the pandemic and the changing regulations under which we are living.

Related Topics:
How the Spring Equinox marks the changing seasons – The Telegraph
What is the vernal equinox? Why does it mark the first day of spring? – Express
Summer Solstice at Stonehenge. From Past to Present – Stonehenge News Blog
Stonehenge Equinox Tours – Stonehenge Guided Tours
Solstice at Stonehenge – English Heritage
The Stonehenge Pilgrims – Stonehenge News Blog
What Exactly Is the Spring Equinox? – Country Living
Stonehenge Summer Solstice Tours – Solstice Events UK
Stonehenge Winter Solstice ban criticised by senior druid – BBC

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First Day of spring: Stonehenge crowd gathers for Equinox sunrise

22 03 2015

The first day of spring has been marked by more than 800 revellers who gathered at Stonehenge to watch the sunrise.

Stonehenge-Spring-Equinox-2015 (54)

Despite a cloudy forecast, @St0nehenge tweeted the gathering had been “blessed with a perfect sunrise”

Druids and pagans were joined by a mass of revellers at the ancient monument to celebrate the spring or vernal equinox.

Open access to the stones was given from first light, 05:45 GMT, by English Heritage which manages the site.

Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon, who performed the sunrise ceremony, said: “We’re lucky, we used to get 200 people but now it’s up to nearly 1,000.”

Despite a cloudy forecast, @St0nehenge tweeted that the gathering had been “blessed with a perfect sunrise”.

“A lot of people are coming out to sacred places to celebrate the turning of the wheel, which is what paganism is about,” said Mr Pendragon.

“We don’t worship nature, we worship the divine through nature and so we worship at the times of the year when it’s auspicious – spring, summer, autumn and winter.”

English Heritage opens the ancient stone circle for the spring equinox as well as the winter and summer solstice

Full article (source) and more images at the BBC website: (Nice to see the BBC’s reference to our twitter account)

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There are many some fantastic images on the Stonehenge Stone Circle Flickr page

Merlin at Stonehenge
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