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In pictures: Summer and winter solstice celebrations

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People across the globe have been marking the longest and shortest days with summer and winter solstice celebrations.

From a sunrise at Stonehenge to an icy swim in Antarctica, we take a look at some of the best pictures.

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About 9,500 people gathered at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, to watch the sun rise over the Neolithic stones.

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The Druid and Pagan community perform rituals and celebrations at the summer and winter solstices. It is believed that solstice celebrations have been held at the site for thousands of years.

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image copyrightPA
image copyrightAFP

The solstice was also celebrated at Avebury Neolithic henge monument in Wiltshire, a Unesco World Heritage site.

image copyrightGetty Images
image copyrightGetty Images
image copyrightGetty Images

The London Eye Ferris wheel opened at dawn so that guests could experience a city view of the solstice sunrise.

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In Antarctica, members of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) at the Casey research station marked the winter solstice with a tradition of cutting through thick ice and taking a dip in the icy waters beneath.

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The winter solstice means the team can look forward to brighter days after weeks of darkness.

image copyrightAFP
image copyrightAFP

In Canberra, Australia, the Winter Solstice Nude Charity Swim took place at Lake Burley Griffin on the shortest day of the year. Swimmers were accompanied by a bagpipe player just as dawn broke.

image copyrightEPA
image copyrightEPA
  • Not your usual Summer Solstice
image copyrightEPA

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  • Not your usual Summer Solstice