Summer solstice 2015 drew thousands of people to Stonehenge to mark the longest day of the year.
According to the Guardian, an estimated 23,000 revelers gathered at the neolithic site in Wiltshire, England, on Sunday to celebrate the summer solstice.
Many other modern-day hippies and pagans converged on nearby Avebury stone circle to marvel as the sun rose on the longest day of the year.
While some find reason to celebrate the summer solstice 2015, many others see the longest day of the year as the first day on the long march towards winter as days begin to shorten.
The number of visitors to Stonehenge is less than in year’s past. Last year, an estimated 36,000 visited the mysterious circle of monoliths.
It was a cloudy morning at Stonehenge for summer solstice 2015, which officially began as the sun rose at 4:53 a.m.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 21, 2015
As expected, revelers beat their drums, dancers twirled, and observers pointed their camera phones at the historic monument to take artistic shots and selfies as the sun rose.
Social media is replete with the results of the many cellphone pics.
Police said arrests were fewer than in previous years. Approximately nine people were arrested for drug offenses at Stonehenge and no arrests were made at Avebury.
According to Superintendent Gavin Williams of the Wiltshire police operation, this year’s Summer Solstice was peaceful and a success.
“Solstice 2015 has been a great success with approximately 23,000 people celebrating at Stonehenge in the positive, friendly atmosphere as they waited for the sunrise. This year the crowds were able to see the sun as it appeared over the horizon, before it disappeared under low cloud. The success of the event depends largely on the good nature of those attending and we are pleased that people could enjoy solstice in the spirit of the event.”
— ITV News (@itvnews) June 21, 2015
According to the BBC, Stonehenge is surrounded in mystery and believed to have been used as an important religious site by early Britons 4,000 years ago.
Pagans once again began to worship at the monoliths beginning in the 20th century.
Stonehenge is a touristic draw for England, with more than a million visitors flocking to the site each year. But the great majority of visitors convene to make the summer solstice, when the tilt of Earth’s axis is most inclined towards the sun, making it the longest day of the year.
The summer solstice usually occurs on June 22, but can also occur on June 20 or 21.
[Image via Twitter/Stonehenge]