Winter Solstice Celebrated By Hundreds Of Nude Swimmers In Australia

Summer solstice celebrations were unfolding in Britain this weekend – but spare a thought for those doing the opposite in Australia.

Specifically, the hundreds of chill thrill-seekers who stripped off to brave the decidedly cool waters of Tasmania in Australia to mark the winter solstice.

A crowd of 752 souls gathered at Long Beach, diving into the 11C waters of the River Derwent at 7.42am on Monday.

Naked, goosebumped flesh as far as the eye can see

The event was part of the annual Dark MOFO arts festival.

Executive producer Kate Gould told The Mercury: “This event is a celebration of the end of the longest night of the year and it is a time of renewal after all the time we have spent with Dark Mofo, celebrating together as a community.

“It’s throwing off your clothes and cleansing yourself for the year ahead.”

Meanwhile in Britain, thousands descended upon Stonehenge to mark the summer solstice.

Police said around 23,000 attended the neolithic site in Wiltshire, with others – including hippies and pagans – visiting the nearby Avebury stone circle to witness the sun rising on the longest day of the year.

The figure was down on the estimated 36,000 who attended last year and the 30,000 expected, but they were able to get a glimpse of the sun after it came over the horizon at 4.52am, despite cloud in the area.

Police said arrests were lower than in previous years, with nine people being held for drugs offences at Stonehenge and a handful being cautioned for possession of Class A drugs, while no arrests were made at Avebury.

Stonehenge is believed to have been used as an important religious site by early Britons 4,000 years ago. Recent pagan celebrations at the site began in the 20th century.

More than a million people flock to Stonehenge every year, with thousands attending ceremonies to mark the solstices in summer and winter.

Meanwhile on the other side of the pond...

Stonehenge Summer Solstice 2015