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New agers, neo-pagans join the curious to greet summer solstice at Stonehenge

The sun rises as thousands of revelers gathered at the ancient stone circle Stonehenge, near Salisbury, England, to celebrate the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, Saturday, June 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

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The sun rises as thousands of revelers gathered at the ancient stone circle Stonehenge, near Salisbury, England, to celebrate the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, Saturday, June 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

LONDON - Self-styled Druids, new-agers and thousands of revelers have watched the sun rise above the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge to mark the summer solstice — the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

English Heritage, which manages the monument, says some 36,000 sun-watchers gathered on the Salisbury Plain about 80 miles (130 kilometres) southwest of London on Saturday. Police say the event was peaceful with only 25 arrests, mainly for drug offences.

Couples kissed, dancers circled with hoops and revelers took part in a mass yoga practice as part of the free-form celebrations.

Stonehenge was built in three phases between 3000 B.C. and 1600 B.C. and its purpose is remains under study. An icon of Britain, it remains one of its most popular tourist attractions.

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