Thousands of people go to ancient religious sites like Stonehenge in Wiltshire to see the first sunrise of the summer. The 21st day of June is the longest day of the year, when the Sun is at its maximum elevation.
This year, visitors arrived in record numbers. About 36,000 people gathered at the ancient stone circle and waited patiently for night to pass. For Pagans, the Summer Solstice is a time to celebrate growth and life.
A combination of the solstice falling on a weekend and the good weather is believed to have drawn the crowds. A weak cheer greeted the Sun rising at 0458 BST, signalling the start of the celebrations.
Solstice, Midsummer or Litha means a stopping or standing still of the sun. This date has had spiritual significance for thousands of years, especially at Stonehenge where the stones align with the Sun on this day.
For some Pagans the summer solstice marks the marriage of the God and Goddess. Carl Klinkenborg and his wife Gigha, pictured here kissing, took the opportunity to get married themselves.
Frank Summers, who's a Stonehenge Druid, said he was pleased to see so many people enjoy this key date in the Druid calendar: "Everybody's leaving today in a really good mood. They've all got something good from it."
Extra police officers and security staff were drafted in to keep order. There were between 20 and 30 arrests, mostly for drugs offences. Officers said the event was largely peaceful.
For some visitors, the excitement was all too much. The solstice usually falls just before the start of the Glastonbury Festival, in nearby Somerset, so some revellers use Stonehenge as a party stop-over.
Isabelle Dale, 16, from Hunstanton, Norfolk dressed up for the occasion. Druid costumes were the most popular sartorial choice.
Religious ceremony or all-night party? There were beating drums, chanting and dancing. English Heritage, which runs the site, said it was a great atmosphere.
Police closed the site in 1984 after violent clashes with people celebrating the solstice. Full access was granted in 2000 and the celebrations since have been largely peaceful.
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