Home Tips & Trends Catch the Summer Solstice in Stonehenge
Home Tips & Trends Catch the Summer Solstice in Stonehenge

Catch the Summer Solstice in Stonehenge

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While you can catch the Solar Eclipse in Singapore on 21 June at about 4pm local time, there is another celestial event taking place in the northern hemisphere – Summer Solstice.

For those who had originally planned a vacation in the UK but was upended by the pandemic, here’s everything you need to know about the Summer Solstice and how you can watch the first summer sunrise live from Stonehenge.

What is Summer Solstice?

Summer Solstice marks the transition into a new season and the start of summer. It is on this day that the sun rises and sets at its most northern point, leading to longer hours of daylight and therefore the longest day of the year.

10,000 people gather at Stonehenge each year for Summer Solstice, but why? There are plenty of mystery and theories surrounding the five thousand years old monument. No one knows if it’s a temple, a burial site or an astronomical clock. Every June 21, visitors are allowed inside the stone circle to celebrate the first day of summer and watch the sun rises behind the Heel Stone, the ancient entrance to the stone circle, and bathe everyone in its warm light.

What’s so fascinating about it is that the prehistoric structure was constructed in such a way that it aligns to the midsummer sunrise and the midwinter sunset. The sun rises behind the Heel Stone in the north-east part of the horizon and its first rays shine into the heart of Stonehenge.

When and How to Catch it Live from Stonehenge?

Typically, visitors are allowed to visit the prehistoric site and witness this natural phenomenon. However, things are different this year due to the pandemic. The annual Summer Solstice festival has been cancelled to prevent the spread of the virus instead, everyone gets to watch it live at the comfort of their own home.

While this news is disappointing, there’s good news: For the first time, English Heritage – which has provided access to the event since 2000 – will instead stream the solstice event online.

The event starts at sunset on Saturday (20:26 UTC on June 20) and goes through sunrise on Sunday (03:53 UTC on June 21). Translate UTC to your time. Here is the official Facebook event page, where you’ll be able to watch the livestream. You can also access the event via Stonehenge on Twitter.

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