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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 December 2006, 11:06 GMT
Early celebrations for Solstice
Around 60 people turned up at Stonehenge on Thursday
People always celebrate the Solstices at Stonehenge
Around 60 people turned up to celebrate the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge - on the wrong day.

After negotiating with site-managers English Heritage, the crowd performed traditional solstice activities on Thursday morning, and left peacefully.

One reveller, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We formed a ring and held hands, and touched the stones. The man with the green cloak was there.

"But there were an awful lot of red faces," she said.

The Pagan celebration of Winter Solstice is one of the oldest winter celebrations in the world.

People assume because the Summer Solstice is the 21st June, the Winter Solstice will be the 21st December
English Heritage

The Solstice is actually at 0022 GMT on Friday, and some crowds are expected at Stonehenge on Friday morning.

"I don't know if I'll go back," the reveller said.

A spokeswoman for English Heritage, which looks after the site, said: "People assume because the Summer Solstice is the 21st June, the Winter Solstice will be the 21st December.

"They should always check."

Stonehenge is currently competing against other iconic buildings and structures, ranging from the Statue of Liberty to the Great Wall of China, in a global hunt for the New Seven Wonders of the World.

The poll is being organised by the Swiss-based group New7Wonders and the winners will be announced in July 2007.

Last year, planning permission was refused for a new visitor centre at Stonehenge but English Heritage plans to appeal against the decision in December.

It also said that the much-needed improvements to the A303 - which have been endorsed at a public inquiry - were now subject to a government review as a result of cost increases.

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03 Nov 06 |  Wiltshire
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17 Oct 06 |  Wiltshire
Public inquiry on Stonehenge plan
29 Aug 06 |  Wiltshire
Plea to PM over Stonehenge saga
25 Aug 06 |  Wiltshire
Stonehenge visitor plan approved
11 Jul 06 |  Wiltshire


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