Hundreds of Australians mark winter solstice with nude swim in Derwent River

Forget hippies at Stonehenge, this is how the Aussies celebrate a solstice

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The Independent Online

While hippies and pagans paraded around Stonehenge, nearly a thousand Aussies stripped off and went for a dip in a freezing river.

That's the different between British and Australian customs when marking the summer and winter solstices respectively.

With the UK enjoying the longest day of the year on Sunday, people down under had the shortest day and longest night.

Around 700 people went to the River Derwent in Tasmania to take off their clothes and endure freezing temperatures. Some said that their feet would "never feel the same again" after experiencing such a chill, while others said they could easily jump in the water again.

Back in the UK, 23,000 people visited Stonehenge in Witlshire to mark the longest day of the year.

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

People also flock to the site in winter to mark the shortest day of the year.