Stonehenge Autumn Equinox
Every year, Druids gather together at Stonehenge to mark the first day of Autumn. Pagans also come to celebrate Mabon, their mid-harvest festival. They go to the monument during dawn to witness the sunrise above the megaliths.
It’s a traditional celebration that is now feted by the New Age Tribes of England (neo-druids, neo-pagans, and Wiccans) together with other travelers. It is a small gathering, usually attended by around 100 people.
For other visitors, they are driven to visit Stonehenge during the Solstices and Equinoxes due to the monument’s mystical connection with the changing of seasons. The celebration of solstices at Stonehenge is usually festive and more about merriment, while the celebration of equinoxes at the megalith is more intimate and spiritual. The tourists and travelers that visit Stonehenge during the Autumn Equinox are usually silenced and mesmerized by the sight of the sun breaking the day.
Stonehenge Autumn Equinox
The Autumn Equinox at Stonehenge is one of the four sky points in the wheel of the year. It is when the sun aligns with the earth so that daytime is the same everywhere. This is the time of the year when the day is split equally between night and day, 12 hours each. The same thing occurs during Ostara (spring equinox).
In Astrology, the Autumn Equinox marks the time when the sun enters the Libra constellation, which apposite the equal hours of day and night of the equinox. The full moon that occurs closest to the Autumn Equinox is known as the Harvest moon. It is the moment for celebrating the harvest season, and it is the time when farmers bring in their crops to be sold. It also marks the time when people start piling up stocks for the winter. After the festival, the season’s descent into winter will grow the darkness and cold each day. The days begin to shorten as the nights begin to lengthen.
Mabon, the pagan celebration, is a time to rest, meditate, and celebrate. Traditionally, they reap their harvest during this time and start their preparations for winter by preserving slaughtered livestock and stocking crops. It is a solemn event and is marked with offering harvest to their deities and auger on their future plans. In their rituals, pagans prepare for six months of darkness.
During the Medieval period, the Christians adopted and replaced the solstice and equinox celebrations using their own myths. Michaelmas is celebrated around the time of the autumn equinox. It is more known as the feast of the Archangel Michael, but is also used to celebrate the other Archangels.
Stonehenge Autumn Equinox Tour
The Stonehenge Autumn Equinox is tied to millennia of tradition. English Heritage ensures that the autumn equinox celebration is a peaceful occasion. They grant druids and pagans who visit Stonehenge special access time to honor their tradition. It is not open to regular visitors but it can be joined via a special access trip. The guided tour is non-obtrusive in nature and you can still observe, witness, and experience the Stonehenge autumn equinox celebration.