Ushering in dawn of solstice revelry

The summer solstice - also known as midsummer - has captured the imagination of many people in popular literature as well as in real life.

The summer solstice, which marks the longest day of the year when the sun is at its maximum elevation, is believed to hold a special power, reported Britain's Telegraph newspaper.

And Britain's Stonehenge monument is closely associated with the solstice, seen as a sacred site built to study and celebrate the movements of the sun and moon, or as a place of burial or healing, said the BBC. The standing stones are famously aligned with the direction of the sunrise on summer solstice.

It is no wonder the site is probably the best-known location for summer solstice festivities.

Yesterday, some 13,000 people were gathered at Stonehenge to watch the sunrise as they celebrated the solstice.

Many towns and villages across Britain still celebrate the day with bonfires, picnics, singing and maypole dancing, a tradition that dates back thousands of years.

For visitors to Stonehenge yesterday, it was a rare chance to get so close to the structure, as the site is fully accessible only on the solstice.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2017, with the headline 'Ushering in dawn of solstice revelry'. Print Edition | Subscribe