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Photos: Thousands travel to watch spectacular winter solstice sunrise at Stonehenge

By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather staff writer
December 24, 2018, 8:03:53 AM EST

Jillian MacMath

Thousands gather to watch the sunrise on Dec. 22.

Jillian MacMath

Thousands gather to watch the sunrise on Dec. 22.

Jillian MacMath

Thousands gather to watch the sunrise on Dec. 22.

Jillian MacMath

Thousands gather to watch the sunrise on Dec. 22.

Jillian MacMath

Thousands gather to watch the sunrise on Dec. 22.

Jillian MacMath

Thousands gather to watch the sunrise on Dec. 22.

Jillian MacMath

Thousands gather to watch the sunrise on Dec. 22.


Thousands of people gathered at Stonehenge on Saturday morning to witness the sunrise between the stones on the winter solstice.

Marking the first official day of winter, the winter solstice occurs when the Earth's axis is tilted the farthest away from the sun each year.

The event traditionally draws hordes of people to the World Heritage site in Wiltshire, England, which aligns perfectly on this day with the rising sun.

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While many visitors make the trek to capture photos of its picture-perfect alignment, the site also has a religious significance for many.

According to Pagan tradition, the winter solstice celebrates the sun's return for the approaching new year.

Modern Druids also make a pilgrimage to the stones to celebrate their connection to the environment.

Thousands gather to watch sunrise at Stonehenge on the winter solstice

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