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Summer Solstice 2013: 21,000 gather at Stonehenge for sunrise on longest day of the year


Thousands of people in UK have gathered at Stonehenge for the sunrise on the summer solstice – the longest day of the year.

Spectators were joined by pagans and druids at the ancient monument in Wiltshire, but the dense cloud cover meant the sun remained hidden.

Police, who estimated 21,000 people attended, targeted the crowds with sniffer dogs and took 22 people into custody for drugs-related offences.

The solstice has had spiritual significance for thousands of years.

The word itself means a stopping or standing still of the sun.

Thousands of people in UK have gathered at Stonehenge for the sunrise on the summer solstice

Thousands of people in UK have gathered at Stonehenge for the sunrise on the summer solstice

A crowd had gathered to spend the night near the giant stones, with police reporting 2,000 people on site by 21:30 BST on Thursday.

The sun then rose at 04:52 on the longest day of the year.

Supt Matt Pullen, from Wiltshire Police, said: “The majority of people respected the conditions of entry and the amnesty bins provided were used.

“Approximately 70 cannabis street warnings were issued. As with previous years, the passive drugs dogs proved very effective.”

Twenty-two miles away at Avebury, where there are three smaller stone circles, the crowd peaked at some 500 people.

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James is a professor in Science. His writing skills brought him to BelleNews. He enjoys writing articles for the Science and Technology category. James often finds himself reading about the latest gadgets as the topic is very appealing to him. He likes reading and listening to classical music.