Summer Solstice & Stonehenge

June 21, 2018

Summer solstice at Stonehenge

The drive from Victoria coach station in London to Stonehenge in southern England, was calm and uneventful, interrupted only by sights of small villages and the voice of the tour guide telling us about the history of stonehenge. Although at first, the thought of stonehenge as a burial ground was unsettling, as our guide, Paula shared more about the archeological findings and history of behind it, the story of stonehenge become even more intriguing. How did the prehistoric people move the stones? How and why did they move the inner blue stones weighing between four and eight tons from a site in Northern Wales, over 170 miles away, this specific spot?

None of this made sense until we stood face to face with the stones. These massive stones had been moved hundreds of miles to this specific spot, and arranged with mathematical precision to align to the sunrise on the summer and winter solstice. When Stonehenge was first created, the Sarsen stones on the outside would have been white and the bluestones on the inside would have been blue. And what a sight it would have been to behold, by the people who travelled long distances to celebrate the summer and winter solstice.

And standing there, in front of this UNESCO world heritage site, these massive stones, only a shadow of their initial beauty, I imagined the interplay of light and shadow and color that would have greeted these solstice revelers and celebrants. The sun streaming through the openings of stonehenge, with it’s precise positioning to match the summer solstice sunrise must have been resplendent indeed.

And even today, people still flock to stonehenge to celebrate the solstice. How will you celebrate the summer solstice?

Photo by Nik Design

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