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Thousands descend upon Stonehenge to celebrate the winter solstice

Thousands celebrated the official start to winter on Tuesday from Stonehenge with songs, dancing and costumes.

The winter solstice occurs precisely at the moment when the Earth's axis is tilted the farthest away from the sun.

Approximately 5,000 people gathered at this historical site to take in the first sunrise of the winter season, the Associated Press reported.

Due to its position, Stonehenge marked the ideal spot to watch the sun rise between two of the stones.

Woah with the spiritual vibes! Happy solstice everyone X

A video posted by Finn Hemingway (@asecretgardener) on

"One of the most important and well-known features of Stonehenge is its alignment on the midwinter sunset-midsummer sunrise solstitial axis," a spokesman for the England Heritage told the BBC. ""The midwinter sun sets between the two upright stones of the great trilithon."

The crowd experienced mild conditions with temperatures in the mid-50s F (13 C), unseasonably warm for this time of year. Temperatures for the start of winter usually hit in the mid-40s (8C).

Celebrating the #wintersolstice at the #stonhenge #worldheritage site. #worldwonder #travel #celebration #freedom #beautifuldestinations #winterfestival

A video posted by Cindy - ski, travel, pole. (@__cino__) on