The magic of the summer solstice at Stonehenge

It’s the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and, as always, thousands of people have gathered in southern England to greet the sunrise.

This year, the ritual at Stonehenge, about 130 kilometers south-west of London, began at 7pm on Tuesday and lasted until 8am on Wednesday.

On this evening, tourists, hippies, druids and district residents are allowed to enter the stone circle.

Alcohol is prohibited, guitars and flutes are welcome, but no sound systems. Blankets are allowed but sleeping bags are not.

And of course, climbing on the stones is strictly forbidden.

Over the years, even the “rite” of Stonehenge has been secularized and commercialized and rules tightened, not to mention drastic restrictions on gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Stonehenge is one of the most recognizable symbols of British culture and history and remains one of the country’s top tourist attractions. Evidence of this is the constant traffic jams on the nearby A303, the motorway that takes visitors to and from South West England.

This World Heritage Site was gradually built 5,000 years ago on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire. The stone circle was built in the late Neolithic period, around 2,500 BC. BC, erected.

Some of the stones, known as bluestones, are known to have come from the Preseli Hills in south-west Wales, almost 150 miles away, but the origin of the others remains a mystery.

The subject of constant discussion is the importance of the website and its function.

For English Heritage, the organization that manages hundreds of English heritage sites, the most accepted interpretation versus the proposed ones – coronation site for Danish kings, druid temple, place of worship of healings – is that Stonehenge is something resembling “a prehistoric Temple” looks in harmony with the movements of the sun”.

The stones align perfectly with the sun on both the summer and winter solstices. At the summer solstice, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone on the northeastern part of the horizon and its first rays illuminate the heart of the stone circle.

When the sky is clear like this year, the rays create a truly magical spectacle.

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