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Druids, Pagans Mark Solstice at Stonehenge

Arthur Pendragan, formally known as Jhon Rothwell, takes part in druidic ceremonies near the Key Stone, away from the Stone Circle at Stonehenge, as Druids and revellers celebrate the Winter Solstice Tuesday, December 22, 2009.
Ben Birchall, Press Assn. via AP
Hundreds of people celebrated the winter solstice at Stonehenge, braving snowy travel conditions and a morning fog.

About 700 people - including pagans and Druids, many adorned in wonderful and/or weird costumes - saw the sun rise at the ancient rocks near Salisbury, England.

Peter Carson, Stonehenge's director, said it "was really looking picture-postcard perfect."

Carson said winter solstice can fall between Dec. 20 and 23. This year, he said, winter solstice came after the sun set on Dec. 21, making Tuesday the shortest day of the year.

Summer solstice is also observed at the site, but Carson said the winter celebrations are becoming increasingly popular.

He said there's a "better understanding that Stonehenge was a monument more significant at the winter rather than summer solstice."

For more info:
Stonehenge (English Heritage Web Site)
Council of British Druid Orders
The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids
British Druid Order
U.K. Pagan