About Solstace at Stonehenge
Stonehenge is a mystery upon itself. Nobody is sure how it was built, why it was built or what purpose it serves. Many speculate and historians try to explain but it seems that the pagan masses of the world have a resounding answer: It helps us celebrate the most important of Sun events, the Solstices.
A bit more about Stonehenge
Stonehenge is an ancient monument, built between 3000BC and 1500BC, that is located in the Salisbury Plains of southern Britain. It was built by three different types of peoples during its construction span and this show on the design and alignment. As a matter of fact, it is believed that the reason why it aligns with the Solstice suns both in winter and summer is because of the Beaker people. Believed to have migrated to Britannia around 2000BC, this tribe who was much more advanced than other tribes at the time, changed the position of the inner circle of stones within Stonehenge. Historians and archaeologists have gathered that the Beaker people were in fact avid Sun worshippers, and had rearranged the "Bluestones' to align with both the Winter and Summer Solstice sun. Furthermore, there are also rocks outside of the main stone formation that align with the solstice suns both at summer and winter. The rearrangement of the rocks proved to both historians and archaeologists that the Beaker people were in fact sun worshippers. This evidence is corroborated with carbon dating of the places where the "Bluestones' lie today. Both their original position and their current position have been found through laser technology and the carbon dating mentioned above puts the movement around the time the Beaker people were in the area.
Celebrations at Stonehenge
Every year there are two types of celebration that draw a lot of people to Stonehenge. Both of these have pagan seeds and have probably been celebrated there since the dawn of humanity - which unsurprisingly is around the same time Stonehenge began to be built. Stonehenge, especially in the 17t century was believed to have been constructed by Druids. A druid was a member of the Celtic educated, professional class, amongst them doctors, judges and poets. There are not many records of druids in written history but folklore says they were humans in possession of magical powers. Seeing what folklore had to say about druids it is not hard to see the connection they possessed with Stonehenge though.
There are two main dates, where the solstices are celebrated around the world - not just at Stonehenge. There are actually hundreds if not thousands of celebrations every year to celebrate the shortening or lengthening of the days. The Summer solstice is always around June 20 and the winter one is always around December 20 in the northern hemisphere. The reason why these two dates are celebrated so much is because in ancient times, especially during the Neolithic, Bronze age and so forth, humans would wait for these days to judge the beginning or end of summer or winter. When the winter solstice occurred people knew better than to begin growing food, whereas when they experienced the summer solstice they knew the length of the days would begin to increase and that it was once again viable to start growing food. These two dates were crude indicators to the human species for figuring out when summer or winter began. Leaving druids and paganism behind, it is easy to see why a monument like Stonehenge might have been built. With the aid of the stones at Stonehenge, humans were able to better tell if any of the solstices had come upon them. The alignment may have been coincidental, but as many historians have concluded, considering how actively the people who aligned Stonehenge with the sun tracked the sun, Stonehenge was probably utilized as a tool for survival for the early human. Today, hundreds of people flock to Stonehenge to witness the winter and summer solstices, and sometimes even partake in a little pagan celebration!