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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 06:55 GMT 07:55 UK
Thousands attend solstice party
The solstice sun rise
Conditions were overcast as the sun rose over the stones at 0458 BST

More than 20,000 people attended this year's summer solstice celebration at Stonehenge.

A total of 24,094 people witnessed dawn break over the ancient stones, compared with 18,700 last year. The sun rose at 0458 BST in overcast conditions.

Many apparently heeded advice to come by public transport and fewer cars than previous years were at the scene.

Four arrests were made at the event, which Wiltshire police described as "very peaceful".

'Whooping and cheering'

Druids, Pagans, hedonists and hippies were among those who attended an all-night party at the stones.

Mark Graham, a druid from Gloucestershire, said: "We didn't see the sun unfortunately, the cloud was scuttling across the sky just as the sun was getting ready to rise, but it was fantastic anyway.

"The whole process of sitting through the night is part of the magic, this feeling of expectation which builds.

"It tends to go quiet before the sun rise, then as the sun comes up there's a lot of whooping and cheering and the beating of drums."

He said the 21 June - the longest day of the year - represented the high point of the Earth's growing energy and its renewal after winter.




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