In England the Ancient Order of the Druids celebrated the shortest night of the year on Wednesday (21 June) with ceremonies marking the midsummer sunrise at the Time Circle of Cathoir Ghall built almost 4,000 years ago at Stonehenge in Wiltshire.
EXTERIOR GVs Ancient Order of Druids marching towards hallowed ground, carrying golden ball (thurivle), banners (3 shots)
GV Druids march through archway and form circle, spectators watch (4 shots)
MV Through arch, dawn breaks, PULL BACK TO GV druids chanting in circle, spectators (2 shots)
GV People watch as chief druid blows horn (3 shots)
CU Sheet on ground PULL BACK TO GV chief druid addresses group, people watching (2 shots)
GV Chief druids swings thurivle. crowd watches (2 shots)
GV Priest and priestess swing thurivle
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In England the Ancient Order of the Druids celebrated the shortest night of the year on Wednesday (21 June) with ceremonies marking the midsummer sunrise at the Time Circle of Cathoir Ghall built almost 4,000 years ago at Stonehenge in Wiltshire.
SYNOPSIS: The priests of the old religion, who have the knowledge of the oak tree, gathered in the ancient Time-Circle of Cathoir Ghall at around two o'clock in the morning on Wednesday (21 June). It is the tradition of the druids to greet the first shaft of midsummer life, rising above the Sun Stone to strike the Stone of Measurement, which signifies banishing the mantle of darkness and the return of the Golden Age. For the past two years Stonehenge has been denied the opportunity of proving its mathematical precision by receiving the first burst of sun. However about 60 druids were present to welcome the dawn of the solstice on this occasion. Reports have said that perhaps the atmospherics of present-day Stonehenge have frightened away the spirit of Awen, which the druidic vigil seeks to raise.
When dawn finally broke the ceremonies-proper began, with crowds of sightseers looking on from a distance.
Around the hallowed ground the druids performed their ritual, laying out the symbolic elements of fire, water, bread and salt, and a rose, affirming their adherence to the covenant between heaven and earth, the spirit of supernal fatherhood and the wisdom of the Words of Gold and of the Triads. By the time the chief druids swung the thurivle (golden ball) towards the end of the ceremony the crowd had grown considerably. They were just some of the 700,000 who will visit Stonehenge this year.