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In Pictures: Solstice celebration at Stonehenge

As the sun rose at the ancient Wiltshire landmark, hundreds of people celebrated the end of the longest night.

People join hands as they gather at Stonehenge in Wiltshire to mark the Winter Solstice (Ben Birchall/PA)
People join hands as they gather at Stonehenge in Wiltshire to mark the Winter Solstice (Ben Birchall/PA)

Crowds have gathered at Stonehenge in Wiltshire to watch the sun rise after the longest night of the year.

The traditional event attracted hundreds to the monument on what is a special calendar date for the Pagan community.

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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)

English Heritage opened the ancient monument for free and gave those attending a rare opportunity to walk inside the circle and touch the stones as the sun rose just after 8am.

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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)

The winter solstice marks the 24-hour period with the fewest daylight hours of the year.

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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)

A choir sang and musicians played inside the stone circle to mark the occasion.

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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)
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(Ben Birchall/PA)

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