Solstice marks start of summer

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People are believed to have celebrated summer solstices at Stonehenge for millennia – but not this year.

The prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, consisting of an outer ring of vertical standing stones topped by connecting horizontal stones, was closed to the public on Monday June 21, the longest day of the year, amid fears that a large gathering could increase Covid-19 cases.

There was no need to restrict access to Kintyre’s standing stones which typically draw much smaller crowds on the day that officially marks the start of summer in the western hemisphere.

At Ballochroy, where three stones measuring six, 11 and 12 feet high stand side-by-side, about 30 people watched the sun setting behind Jura, while there were just a couple of people at Beacharr’s 16.5-foot monolith.

People have been drawn to standing stones, like the one at Beacharr, at solstices for thousands of years.
People have been drawn to standing stones, like the one at Beacharr, at solstices for thousands of years.