The Summer Solstice for 2015 has come and past. But what is the Summer Solstice?
In a basic definition, the Summer Solstice is when the ’tilt’ of the Earth on its axis is at the closest point to our Sun.
(Image above is from the Huffington Post Website Here Accessed Online 01/09/2015).
At Stonehenge, this phenomena ‘fits’ within the constructed Megalithic structure of sarsens which are called Stonehenge. Every year, thousands of people are provided access to the stones of the Henge to celebrate this tradition. The ‘fitting’ of the Summer Solstice is also the same for the Winter Solstice, which however shows more archaeological evidence as being celebrated by the builders of Stonehenge. (See my post on the Winter Solstice for more info).
Revellers typically gather at Stonehenge, the ancient stone circle in Wiltshire, to see the sun rise. The Heel Stone and Slaughter Stone, set outside the main circle, align with the rising sun.
(Quote above from BBC. 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk. Accessed Online 01/09/2015).
Actually the winter solstice seems to have been “far more important” in Neolithic times, a kind of “Neolithic Christmas”.
(Quote above from Mike Parkier Pearson. 2012. http://www.news.bbc.co.uk. Accessed Online 01/09/2015)
(Image above is from the National Trust Website Here. Accessed Online 01/09/2015).
Although Avebury stone circles have no known ‘direct’ link with the Summer Solstice, hundreds of people still camp out and enjoy watching the Solstice with its picturesque stones. The prominent link is through the ‘connections’ with the ancestors – the Neolithic peoples whom constructed megalithic architectures and monuments such as at Avebury and Stonehenge.
Pearson, Mike Parker. (2012). ‘Celebrating the Summer Solstice’ Interview on BBC Radio 4. http://www.news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9730000/9730536.stm.