Thousands gather at Stonehenge to celebrate winter solstice

London, Dec 21 (IANS) Thousands of people gathered at Stonehenge on Wednesday to commemorate the winter solstice, the shortest day in the year in the northern hemisphere.

Between 3,000 and 5,000 people, many dressed as their interpretation of druids, visited the prehistoric monument, said the Historic England Commission, Efe news reported.

Many of these groups arrived before dawn and played drums and sang among the stones.

Stonehenge is around 5,000 years old and has been the site of so-called ancient druidic celebrations of the solstices and equinoxes since the mid-19th century.

The monument, declared a Unesco heritage site in 1986, is roped off to the public throughout the year, but these groups of druids are granted special permission to access the site four times a year.