Druids mark equinox with hill ceremony
Druids have marked the changing of the seasons with a ceremony celebrating the autumn equinox at Beacon Hill.
More than 30 people formed a ring at the ancient Bronze Age site, near Loughborough, to mark the lengthening of the dark and the receding of the light, just after noon on Sunday.
As part of the celebrations - one of eight which punctuate the Pagan year - bread and mead were passed among the gatherers; the mead "so none should thirst" and the bread "so none should hunger".
Songs of peace were sung to north, east, west and south and the four elements of wind, fire, earth and water were venerated.
Mark Graham, of the Charnwood Grove of [sic] druids, said that Beacon Hill and locations across Charnwood Forest had a long history as druid meeting places.
We call this place Caer Ban (Beacon Hill). It means lofty fortress. "This is where sky and earth meet, making it a special place, and the views are stunning.
"People gather here at this time to mark the equinox, the tipping points of the year, the changing of the seasons."
He said the sudden change from warm sunshine to autumn wind and rain had affected attendance numbers.
"At the summer solstice we had 200 people." he said.
"Today's turnout reflects the weather."
Charnwood Groves's celebration of the equinox was also filmed by a crew for The Hairy Bikers cookery programme, to be shown on the BBC in tha autumn.