A seemingly curious alliance of druids, pagans, hippies, residents, tourists, and costumed witches and wizards has gathered around a prehistoric stone circle on a plain in southern England to express their devotion to the sun, or to have some communal fun.
They stayed and celebrated at Stonehenge, approximately 128km (80 miles) southwest of London, for the night and to greet the sunrise on Wednesday, which will be the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere.
This year, the summer solstice at Stonehenge goes from 7pm (18:00 GMT) on Tuesday through 8am (07:00 GMT) on Wednesday.
For this one night, worshippers are allowed to spend the night inside the stone circle. Others chant or play their acoustic guitars.
Alcohol is banned, as are sound systems. Bring a blanket, but no sleeping bags. And definitely, no climbing on the stones.
Stonehenge, one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments and a World Heritage site, was built on the flat lands of Salisbury Plain in stages starting 5,000 years ago, with the unique stone circle erected in the late Neolithic period about 2,500 BC.
Some of the stones, the so-called bluestones, are known to have come from the Preseli Hills in southwest Wales, nearly 240km (150 miles) away, but the origins of others remain a mystery.
The stones match perfectly with the sun at both the summer and winter solstices. On the summer solstice, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone in the northeast part of the horizon and its first rays shine into the heart of the stone circle.