December 21st is the shortest day of the year, otherwise known as the Winter Solstice. While most people let the shortest day of the year pass unmarked, some choose to travel to Stonehenge to mark the occasion. The historical and world famous site in Wiltshire is visited by thousands each year as they celebrate the winter solstice at sunrise.
Stonehenge is a historical site near Amesbury, Wiltshire made up of a ring of standing stones – each of which are around 4 meters tall. Some parts of Stonehenge are 5000 years old and the area was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1986. Thousands of people gather yearly around the landmark to celebrate the Winter Solstice as, according to Pagan traditions, it marks the revival of the sun for the start of a new year. It has been closely associated with the sun as Stonehenge aligns with the sunset and sunrise on both the summer (longest day of the year) and winter solstice. The origins of Stonehenge are largely unknown so it remains a mystery who aligned the stones in such a way and how they managed to do it so long ago.
I attended a number of Celtic meetings in the company of Druid leader Merlin of England.