Barack Obama made an impromptu visit to Stonehenge on his return home from the NATO summit in Newport, Wales.
As the president toured the ancient site, he chatted to a local family and posed for photos with them.
Barack Obama made an impromptu visit to Stonehenge on his return home from the NATO summit in Newport
Janice Raffle, who lives near Stonehenge, had come down to the monument with her husband and three sons after hearing Barack Obama was there.
She said Barack Obama’s photographer took a photo with her phone.
“He sort of photobombed us, really,” Janice Raffle said.
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March Equinox or the official start of spring sees druids and pagans marking the season of renewal at dawn among Stonehenge’s standing stones, the best known prehistoric monument in Europe.
Druids, pagans and revelers gathered at dawn by Stonehenge’s ancient stones in England to mark the Vernal Equinox, the official beginning of springtime.
Twice a year, the earth’s axis is angled so that the world gets an equal amount of daylight and night, a highly-significant event in the pagan calendar.
At the Spring Equinox, the sun rises exactly in the east, travels through the sky for 12 hours and then sets exactly in the west. All over the world, day and night are of equal length.
As the earth’s axis begins to tilt further in the coming days and weeks, the northern hemisphere will receive more direct sunlight, leading to spring and summer’s warmer temperatures.
Druids and pagans mark Spring Equinox among Stonehenge’s standing stones
The occasion helps mark important celebrations around the world, including Easter, Passover and Nowruz, the Persian New Year. The Autumnal Equinox will occur on September 22.
The term “equinox” derives from the Latin aequues (equal) and nox (night), although strictly speaking, an equinox is not a day but a point in time. The days themselves when day and night are equal are referred to as equiluxes.
Traditionally, druids and pagans congregate at Stonehenge and other standing stone sites to greet the dawn and watch the sun rise while performing fertility rites.
English Heritage opened Stonehenge from 5.45 a.m. until 8.30 a.m. to allow worshippers to take part in the event to mark the season of renewal.
The druids and pagans were celebrating the ancient Saxon goddess Eostre, who symbolizes fertility and new beginnings.
The goddess is symbolized by eggs, representing new life, and rabbits or hares, for fertility. The name is also the root of the term given to the female hormone oestrogen.
Some regard elements of the Easter celebrations as deriving from this tradition, with the Christian festival marked by the “Easter Bunny” bringing us gifts of chocolate eggs.
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Thousands of people in UK have gathered at Stonehenge for the sunrise on the summer solstice – the longest day of the year.
Spectators were joined by pagans and druids at the ancient monument in Wiltshire, but the dense cloud cover meant the sun remained hidden.
Police, who estimated 21,000 people attended, targeted the crowds with sniffer dogs and took 22 people into custody for drugs-related offences.
The solstice has had spiritual significance for thousands of years.
The word itself means a stopping or standing still of the sun.
Thousands of people in UK have gathered at Stonehenge for the sunrise on the summer solstice
A crowd had gathered to spend the night near the giant stones, with police reporting 2,000 people on site by 21:30 BST on Thursday.
The sun then rose at 04:52 on the longest day of the year.
Supt Matt Pullen, from Wiltshire Police, said: “The majority of people respected the conditions of entry and the amnesty bins provided were used.
“Approximately 70 cannabis street warnings were issued. As with previous years, the passive drugs dogs proved very effective.”
Twenty-two miles away at Avebury, where there are three smaller stone circles, the crowd peaked at some 500 people.