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Sun Nov 23 14:14:00 SAST 2014

Thousands gather at Stonehenge to mark summer solstice

Sapa-AP | 21 June, 2013 11:10
Revellers celebrate the summer solstice at the Stonehenge monument on Salisbury Plain in southern England June 21, 2013. Stonehenge is a celebrated venue of festivities during the summer solstice - the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere - and it attracts thousands of revellers, spiritualists and tourists. Druids, a pagan religious order dating back to Celtic Britain, believe Stonehenge was a centre of spiritualism more than 2 000 years ago.
Image by: KIERAN DOHERTY / REUTERS

Police say more than 20 000 celebrants have gathered at the famed Stonehenge monument to mark the summer solstice.

The cloud cover Friday morning prevented bright sunshine at dawn of the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere but a joyous spirit prevailed.

Police say there were fewer arrests than usual with 22 people taken into custody, most for drug-related offenses.

The solstice has typically drawn a wide and varied crowd to the mysterious set of standing stones whose purpose remains unclear.

The ancient stone circle on the Salisbury Plain about 130 kilometres southwest of London, was built in three phases between 3000 B.C. and 1600 B.C.

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