Since the beginning of this year, things have changed a lot, and everywhere. We started getting used to the new way of life, much stricter than before, with many new rules, guidelines, and adjustments.
It turns out, nothing is going to be the same, at least for a while. Stonehenge, for the first time ever, will offer a livestream of the summer solstice celebration!
On the longest day of the year, the ancient cite is the host of one of the world’s most popular summer solstice celebrations, which is attended by thousands of visitors every year, including the druid and pagan community, who come to watch the sun rise behind the Heel Stone.
On the first summer day, the Sun appears over the horizon on the solstice, and it lines up with the huge stone structure. This has contributed to the belief that at the time of its erection, between 3500 and 5000 years ago, Stonehenge played an important role in druid solstice celebrations.
Yet, as such celebration is not possible this year, The English Heritage organization which manages Stonehenge, asked people not to visit the site, but to watch a livestream of the sunrise on Sunday morning, June 21 (local time), on English Heritage’s social media accounts.
Everyone can watch the sunset on Saturday, June 20 at 20:26 GMT (21:26 BST) and the sunrise on Sunday, June 21 at 03:52 GMT (04:52 BST). In case you miss them the first time, the livestreams will be saved on their Facebook page.
Nichola Tasker, the director of Stonehenge, said:
“We have consulted widely on whether we could have proceeded safely and we would have dearly liked to host the event as per usual, but sadly, in the end, we feel we have no choice but to cancel.
We hope that our live stream offers an alternative opportunity for people near and far to connect with this spiritual place at such a special time of year and we look forward to welcoming everyone back next year.”
According to a Stonehenge statement:
“We can’t welcome you in person this year because of the measures in place to combat coronavirus – but our live coverage of sunset and sunrise means you won’t miss a moment of this special occasion. Our cameras will capture the best views of Stonehenge, allowing you to connect with this spiritual place from the comfort of your own home.
Please, to help keep everyone safe, do not travel to Stonehenge for summer solstice this year. We look forward to welcoming you in person at next year’s event.”
Well, witnessing the magnificent landmark being brought into the virtual age can be counted as one of the pandemic’s silver linings! Without a doubt, this year, the event will be observed by more people than ever before!