On Friday 21st June, we celebrated the summer solstice, that magical day – the longest of the year – when earth’s orbit around the sun reaches its greatest distance from the equator. For thousands of years, people from far and wide, most notably pagans, have celebrated the summer solstice by making a pilgrimage to Stonehenge in Wiltshire. Believed to be constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC, the Neolithic monument was built along the solstice alignment of the summer sunrise and winter sunset. On the summer solstice, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone, the ancient entrance to the Stone Circle, reaching the middle of the stones when shining on the central altar, it is the only day in the year when this alignment occurs.
This year around 10,000 people gathered there to watch the sunrise and bring in the day. From flowers in their hair to talismans and stacked rings, people expressed their free-spiritedness and jubilations through intricate beauty details. “I met people from all walks of life and ages dressed in different styles but all connected in this joyful beautiful event to enjoy the mystery, magic, splendour and the feeling of ancient history as the Sun shone over this extraordinary 64,000 year old stone circle. You could almost feel the presence of the ancient ghosts!” says photographer Hannah Burton who was our eyes and ears on the ground.
“There’s something really moving about a gathering of people brought together solely to witness nature’s awe-inspiring beauty unfold. Some people had not slept from the sunset the night before, others had napped in their cars and lots of people like myself arrived specifically for the sunrise. People were riding off different energies but there was an undeniably strong sense connectivity and love as the sun came up. This perfect sunrise illuminated the sun-drenched, blissful expressions on peoples faces and accentuated some incredible summer solstice beauty looks that I very much enjoyed photographing.”