- So, as you might have gathered if you looked thru my Africa pic’s, but I was lucky enough to have also gone to see Stonehenge on my London layover return flight to the United States. We met a couple of Druids who were telling us about the Summer Solstice and it’s meaning to them in relationship to Stonehenge itself. I’m happy to see that they got their wish and were able to successfully celebrate their beliefs, etc.. last night and thru this morning!
Article below details out the whole event :
STONEHENGE, England — Pagans and partygoers drummed, danced or gyrated in hula hoops to stay awake through the night, as more than 35,000 people greeted the summer solstice Sunday at the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge. Despite fears of trouble because of the record-sized crowd, police said the annual party at the mysterious monument was mostly peaceful. “It’s the most magical place on the planet,” said antique salesman Frank Somers, 43, dressed in the robes of his Druid faith. ( I believe this might have been the name of the person we met!) “Inside when you touch the stones you feel a warmth like you’re touching a tree, not a stone. There’s a genuine love, you feel called to it,” he said. The prehistoric monument in southern England is the site of an annual night-long party — or religious ceremony, depending on perspective — marking the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.
“There has been a great atmosphere and where else would you want to be on midsummer’s day?” said Peter Carson of English Heritage, the body in charge of Stonehenge. Stonehenge, which sits on Salisbury Plain about 80 miles (130 kilometers) southwest of London, is one of Britain’s most popular tourist attractions, visited by more than 750,000 people a year. It was built in three phases between 3,000 B.C. and 1,600 B.C. Mystery surrounds the monument’s original purpose. Some theories hold that the stone circle was a grave site because 350 burial mounds surround the structure. In May, archaeologists found evidence indicating that pilgrims perceived the stones to have healing powers. Some other experts assert that the structure was part of an ancient astronomical calendar. But because it was built so long ago, there is no record of why the monument was erected, said archaeologist Dave Batchelor of English Heritage. Solstice celebrations were a highlight of the pre-Christian calendar, and in many countries bonfires, maypole dances and courtship rituals linger on as holdovers from Europe’s pagan past. The solstice is one of the few times during the year that visitors can get close enough to touch the rocks. English Heritage closed the site at the solstice after clashes between police and revelers in 1985. It began allowing full access again in 2000 and the celebrations have been largely peaceful. “This place actually gives people so much energy and thoughts, things that we kind of neglect in the daily lives and wish for,” Milinkeviciute said. “We can come here and make them come true.”
And i was there….