Wiltshire

First Day of spring: Stonehenge crowd gathers for sunrise

Spring equinox at Stonehenge, Wiltshire Image copyright Mona Attia
Image caption Despite a cloudy forecast, @Stonehenge tweeted the gathering had been "blessed with a perfect sunrise"

The first day of spring has been marked by more than 800 revellers who gathered at Stonehenge to watch the sunrise.

Druids and pagans were joined by a mass of revellers at the ancient monument to celebrate the spring or vernal equinox.

Open access to the stones was given from first light, 05:45 GMT, by English Heritage which manages the site.

Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon, who performed the sunrise ceremony, said: "We're lucky, we used to get 200 people but now it's up to nearly 1,000."

Image copyright Tre Russell
Image caption Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon said the event celebrated the turning of the wheel
Image copyright Paulina Kuczynska
Image caption Access to the stones was given from first light at 05:45 GMT

Despite a cloudy forecast, @Stonehenge tweeted that the gathering had been "blessed with a perfect sunrise".

"A lot of people are coming out to sacred places to celebrate the turning of the wheel, which is what paganism is about," said Mr Pendragon.

"We don't worship nature, we worship the divine through nature and so we worship at the times of the year when it's auspicious - spring, summer, autumn and winter."

Image copyright Paulina Kuczynska
Image caption Pagans and druids were joined by hundreds of people who wanted to experience the event
Image copyright Paulina Kuczynska
Image caption English Heritage opens the ancient stone circle for the spring equinox as well as the winter and summer solstice

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