STONEHENGE, England – Pagans and partygoers drummed, danced or gyrated in hula hoops to stay awake through the night, as more than 35,000 people greeted the summer solstice Sunday at the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge.
Despite fears of trouble because of the record-sized crowd, police said the annual party at the mysterious monument was mostly peaceful.
“It’s the most magical place on the planet,” said antique salesman Frank Somers, 43, dressed in the robes of his Druid faith.
“Inside when you touch the stones you feel a warmth like you’re touching a tree, not a stone. There’s a genuine love, you feel called to it,” he said.
The prehistoric monument in southern England is the site of an annual night-long party — or religious ceremony, depending on perspective — marking the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.
Warm weather and the fact that this year’s solstice fell on a weekend helped draw a record crowd.
“There has been a great atmosphere and where else would you want to be on midsummer’s day?” said Peter Carson of English Heritage, the body in charge of Stonehenge.
Happy Solstice All!