At Summer Solstice, Stonehenge Welcomes 8,000 Visitors

To commemorate the summer solstice, some 8,000 people gathered around the ancient Stonehenge in Britain on Wednesday. Many even sported antlers and brightly colored outfits. On June 21, they remained up late to see the sun rise. In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the day with the most daylight. The assembly cheered, sang, and drummed as the rising sun shone down on Stonehenge. Nichola Tasker is the director of Stonehenge at English Heritage, a nonprofit organization responsible for managing a number of the country’s historic sites.

“Just as it has done for thousands of years, Stonehenge continues to captivate and bring people together to celebrate the seasons,” Tasker stated. “Everyone enjoyed a wonderful atmosphere from sunset to sunrise,” she continued. English Heritage reported that over 154,000 additional individuals watched on its live stream video in addition to the 8,000 attendees. The Old Farmer’s Almanac states that the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs on June 21 at 14:58 UTC, when “the Sun travels along its northernmost path in the sky.” In the northern half of Earth, summer also begins on this day. Conversely, in the Southern Hemisphere, winter begins on June solstice, when “the Sun is at its lowest point in the sky.”

The summer solstice is known as Xiazhi in China. According to Beijing Tourism, it’s a time when people pray for peace and rejoice over the wheat harvest. And they consume veggies, chilled noodles, and what’s generally referred to as “summer solstice cake.” Sweden and Finland, two nations in Northern Europe, sing and dance around the midsummer pole to commemorate the summer solstice. Ivan Kupala Night is historically celebrated in Khortytsya, a significant historical region on the Dnieper River in Ukraine.

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