Pagans, partygoers gather for Stonehenge solstice

June 21, 2009 08:06

Thousands of neo-Druids, New Age followers and the merely curious were flocking to Stonehenge to await Sunday's sunrise over the prehistoric monument and celebrate the longest day of the year. More than 20,000 people are expected to greet the sunrise just before 5 a.m. on Sunday at Stonehenge, which sits on Salisbury Plain about 130 kilometers southwest of London. The ancient stone circle in southern England is the site of an annual night-long party - or religious ceremony, depending on perspective - marking the northern hemisphere's summer solstice. "They come for a complete range of reasons," archaeologist Dave Batchelor of English Heritage, the site's caretaker, said Saturday. "Some belong to the Druidic religion and think of it as a temple, others think of it as a place of their ancestors, or for tranquility and others come to see it as a way to celebrate the changing of the seasons."

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