Modern-day Druids, pagans and other revellers gather at Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain to celebrate the first day of winter – otherwise known as the winter solstice, which is the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

Crowds gather to celebrate the winter solstice at Stonehenge.

Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

The Druid ‘king of Britain’, Arthur Uther Pendragon, conducts a service.

Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

People touch one of the sacred stones during the celebration. The winter solstice occurs when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest from the sun.

Photograph: Velar Grant/ZUMA Press/Corbis

A caped reveller celebrates the dawn. The popularity of the winter solstice, a quieter and gentler affair than its summer counterpart, has grown in recent years.

Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

The Druidan name for the winter solstice festival is Alban Arthan, which means ‘the light of Arthur’.

Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Luciferianism, paganism, sun worshipers.


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