PHOTO GALLERY: Crowds mark the summer solstice at the ancient monument of Stonehenge | News, Sports, Jobs







Dawn breaks behind the stones during the Summer Solstice festivities at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. After two years of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stonehenge reopened on Monday for the summer solstice celebrations. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)

A woman dressed in pagan attire watches the sun rise during the Summer Solstice festivities at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. After two years of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic , Stonehenge reopened on Monday for summer solstice celebrations . (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)

The sun begins to rise above the stones as people gather at sunrise to take part in the summer solstice festivities at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, Tuesday June 21, 2022. After two years of closure Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stonehenge reopened Monday for the Summer Solstice celebrations. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)

People watch the sun rise during the Summer Solstice festivities at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, Tuesday, June 21, 2022. After two years of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stonehenge reopened on Monday to the summer solstice celebrations. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)

Arthur Uther Pendragon, centre, joins people as they gather at the Heel Stone at sunrise for the Summer Solstice festivities at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, Tuesday June 21, 2022. After two years of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stonehenge reopened Monday for summer solstice celebrations. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Thousands of druids, pagans and New Age revelers greeted the summer solstice at Stonehenge on Tuesday, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

Wiltshire Police said around 6,000 people gathered at the ancient stone circle in the south of England to watch the sun rise at 4.49am (0349 GMT) on a crisp clear morning .

Police said the atmosphere was “user-friendly” and there were only two arrests – one for assault and one for drug possession.

It was the first time revelers were allowed to gather for the solstice since 2019. Sunrise was streamed online in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Stonehenge was built between 5,000 and 3,500 years ago on a windswept plain in southwest England by a sun-worshipping Neolithic culture. Experts still debate its purpose, but it is aligned so that at the summer solstice the sun rises behind the heel stone and the sun’s rays are channeled into the center of the circle.



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