Pagan West: Druids & Other Pagans Gather in a Crowd of 6k at Stonehenge

Originally appeared at: BBC News

More than 6,000 people have gathered to watch the sunrise at Stonehenge for the summer solstice. It is the first time since the pandemic that the stone circles in Salisbury and Avebury have been open to the public for the event. Druids and pagans joined other visitors to mark the longest day of the year at the ancient site.

"It's fantastic to be able to welcome everybody back again." said English Heritage site manager Heather Sebire.

"There are people who are modern day druids and pagan groups who treat this as a place of worship," she added.

StonehengeANDREW MATTHEWS / More than 6,000 people greeted the sun with cheers as it rose over the horizon on Tuesday

StonehengeANDREW MATTHEWS / Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon conducts a service at Stonehenge on every solstice

StonehengeANDREW MATTHEWS / Visitors often hug the stones to mark the occasion

StonehengeANDREW MATTHEWS / Pagans and druids regularly attend the annual solstice celebration

Stonehenge is built on the alignment of the midsummer sunrise and the midwinter sunset.

On the summer solstice, the sun rises behind the heel stone, the ancient entrance to the stone circle, and rays of sunlight are channelled into the centre of the monument.

Stonehenge

ANDREW MATTHEWS / Crowds danced and sang during the sunrise, which arrived at 04:49 BST

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