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Stonehenge Solstice and Equinox Parties

Listed under Festivals in South East England, United Kingdom.

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Stonehenge is a symbol of many concepts: the glorious heritage of a nation, knowledge obfuscated by time, 'alternative' faiths, ancient civilizations, myths and mysteries; the list continues – and perhaps this explains why, despite the fact that this carefully restored, archaeologically priceless, conscientiously protected stone circle, unique in many ways, is still considered so much a monument belonging to the public. Four times a year, on the dates of the Summer and Winter solstices and the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, the rope barriers are opened and we, one and all, are permitted to tread the well-worn ground and touch the imperceptibly eroding sarsens and bluestones.

The Summer solstice all-night party, which climaxes at sunrise, is always the largest of the four, and attracts well over twenty thousand people – but despite the excitable vibe, there are usually only a couple of arrests, and those are of the 'peaceful' variety – perhaps of the odd naked hedonist. The numbers of neo-pagans and druids are quite comfortably balanced with those of people of more conventional (or non-existent) faiths, so it's impossible to feel completely out of place – and the tension that builds before dawn is a little eerie but all positive.

Written by  larapiegeler.

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