Winter Solstice 2004 was on Tuesday 21st December 12.41p.m
There was Open Access at Stonehenge for the sunrise at 8.03a.m
Access for the 2004 Winter Solstice at Stonehenge began at 7.30a.m.
There was no car park open on the English Heritage site, so everyone
used the nearby lanes and any available lay-bys surrounding the
stones. It was all very different from the heavy security and police
presence at the Summer Solstice in June - much more relaxed, due
to the smaller amount of people - the temperature tends to deter
many at this time of the year!
Instead of around 30,000 people as in the summer we were amongst
a small band of about 300.
was easy to reach the centre of the mighty stones - no massive crowds,
instead lots of room to stand and stare in awe of the massive megaliths.
Luckily there was no rain as the dawn approached, but it was very
cold. Most of the crowd was well prepared with thick coats, scarves,
gloves and enveloping blankets.
were led by a wonderful druid with some peace and love chants -
the atmosphere was great. Then a hand-fasting ceremony was held
and others followed this with dancing and bongo playing. A lone
Japanese woman did her own celebratory singing between the trilithons,
some hugged stones, whilst others just enjoyed being in the magical
circle of the people's own temple.
The sky began to gradually change colour as dawn approached, but
the cloud prevented us seeing the actual sun rise on the Winter
Solstice morning. It didn't seem to matter though - most of us left
the gathering feeling spiritually uplifted, generally energised
and filled with a feeling of well-being - glad to be alive on such
a magic morn!
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