Winter solstice marks the start of longer days

People look towards the sun as druids, pagans and revellers gather at Stonehenge, hoping to see the sun rise, as they take part in a winter solstice ceremony at the ancient neolithic monument of Stonehenge, UK.

Story highlights

  • Winter solstice marks the start of longer daylight hours in the northern hemisphere
  • Many people shared beautiful images of the sunrise at Stonehenge, UK, on social media

(CNN)There's a lot going on in the skies above us right now. Today, December 21st marks the winter solstice, where daylight hours start to get longer in the Northern hemisphere.

In the UK, hundreds of pagans, druids and revelers of from far and wide gathered at Stonehenge in Salisbury, UK, to witness the sun rising up over the horizon on the shortest day of the year.
    The winter solstice is a special event in the pagan calendar, because -- according to the English Heritage charity which takes care of the sacred stones -- the mid winter sun sets perfectly between the two upright stones of the great trilithon.
    Close to the sacred stones, people gathered with anticipation to watch the sunrise and many shared their pictures of the the annual moment.

    Stonehenge

    A photo posted by Laura Atencio (@lauraflora4) on

    For some the return of the sun marks a turning point.
    The sun starts to breaks through the clouds.

    The Return of the Sun

    A photo posted by Emma Wallace (@emmalwallace) on

    And the sun finally lights up the skies. From now on, daylight hours will continue to get longer until the summer solstice in mid-June 2017.

    Sunset at Stonehenge. Filter not needed. 😍😮

    A photo posted by Bong Biyaherong (@biyaherongbong) on

    The sun perfectly aligns between the the vertical sacred stones.

    Beautiful moment. Sunset at Stonehenge. #wintersolstice #stonehenge

    A photo posted by Gayle Edwards (@gecopywriter) on