Stonehenge Solstice is a popular event which attracts visitors from all across the world to experience not only the solstice sunrise, but also the rich history behind its significance. The rock forged monument in Wiltshire, England sees thousands of people descend upon it especially during the summer solstice to catch the summer solstice sunrise glide in absolute perfection above the stones.
The entire rock formation as well as the sunrise above it is so perfectly synchronized, it has kept scientists and historians in awe for hundreds of years. It makes you wonder whether the builders had intentionally formed it so as to set a stage for the solstice. If you are at Stonehenge on the summer solstice, you will witness the sun rising behind the Heel Stone as its rays shine through the heart of the Stonehenge. If you are here during the winter solstice, you can watch the sun set in the south-eastern end of the horizon.
Solstice essentially refers to the time of the year when the position of the rising or the setting sun becomes absolutely unmoving in the midst of its journey across the horizon. Summer Solstice happens around June 21 every year which is the longest day, and the sun’s position remains more or less the same for a few days on either side of this date. It was an important time for the Neolithic man due to the warmth he received for himself, his crops, and his animals. The stones in Amesbury Stonehenge have been set up thousands of years ago in an eerie alignment with the moving sun. If you stand in the center during summer solstice Stonehenge, you will witness that the sun rises just to the left of a large stone which lies outside the stone circle and is known as the Heel Stone. Archaeologists believe there might have been a partner stone to the Heel Stone which means the sun would have risen with the two stones framing it perfectly, such is the alignment of the Stonehenge Avenue. It is also believed that people gathered during Summer Solstice Stonehenge or midsummer and performed important rituals in relation to changing seasons and ceremonies for the sun and the sky. It may also have been a great time for celebrations with long hours of daylight and warmth. These times of gathering together and celebrating the Stonehenge Summer Solstice Festival must have been very important events at the time and may have included singing, dancing, speeches, processions, sporting events, and much more. Today thousands of visitors from all corners of the globe gather here to celebrate the Stonehenge Summer Solstice Festival while trying to get an insight into why this may have been so important to the Neolithic people.
Solstice in Stonehenge has been an important time of the year for ages now and apart from the Summer Solstice Stonehenge has also been observing the winter solstice for thousands of years. Changing seasons and the passage of time has been of utmost importance to the ancient man who was primarily a farmer, growing crops and tending to his animals. The knowledge of when each season was changing was crucial to him, particularly the advent of winter which must have been a dark period for him. As the days grew shorter and colder, the ancient man may have felt fear and desolation longing for the return of the light and warmth of summer. This may have been the premise behind the construction of the Stonehenge, to track the changing seasons by aligning it with the movement of the sun. One of the important events in their annual cycle would have been the midwinter sunset or the winter solstice. Solstice in Stonehenge continues to inspire awe among spectators for its sheer brilliance and precise alignments. It is believed by archaeologists that the tallest trilithon at the monument is now missing but when it was standing, the sun would have set between the narrow gap present between the two upright stones marking the winter Stonehenge Solstice. It is also believed by historians that the winter solstice may have held more importance among the ancient people than the Summer Solstice Stonehenge, as they held large feasts during the time. Historical evidence also suggests that the Stonehenge Solstice may have been a time for rituals and ceremonies apart from celebrations.
One of the most iconic sites on earth, the Stonehenge in England also holds its fair share of mystery particularly with its concept of Stonehenge Solstice. This is also the ideal time to visit the site to experience the pagan concepts of solstice in Stonehenge, its significance, the rituals that were performed around the place during this time, the celebrations especially the Stonehenge Summer Solstice Festival that was observed here, and much more. You can also revel in the astrological celebration at this ancient site today when the atmosphere becomes festive. People welcome summer and flock here every year to do a sunset viewing on June 20th or a sunrise viewing on June 21st.
Stonehenge solstice was important to the ancient people and several cultures as it marked the passage of time. It was critical that they kept track of the changing seasons as they were mostly involved in looking after crops, farming, and tending to their animals. The onset of winter with colder and darker days may have been a cause of fear among them. Thus the Stonehenge solstice helped them determine the return of summer and with it light and warmth.
During the summer solstice in Stonehenge there is a huge gathering here to witness the sun setting. There is also a Druid ceremony performed along with festivities.
During the winter solstice in Stonehenge a huge group of druids, pagans, and Stonehenge enthusiasts visit here to ‘mark the day’. There are traditional celebrations here in the belief that the Stonehenge was constructed keeping the summer and winter solstices in mind.
The weight of an average Stonehenge sarsen is 25 tons while the Heel Stone weighs nearly 30 tons The bluestones were brought to Wiltshire from South Wales, covering a distance of nearly 240 km Ever since the Stonehenge stones were erected here, almost 180 generations have passed