Newgrange Winter Solstice 2013

On the days around the Winter Solstice when the skies are clear the rising sun illuminates the passage and chamber of the 5000 year old megalithic passage tomb at Newgrange in the Boyne Valley. The weather obliged in December 2013 with clear skies on December 21st and December 22nd.
 
The rising sun on December 21st.
The rising sun on December 21st.


About 500 people at Newgrange for the sunrise on December 21st
About 500 people at Newgrange for the sunrise on December 21st.


Winter Solstice sunbeam inside Newgrange on December 21st
Winter Solstice sunbeam inside Newgrange on December 21st.


Sunrise at Newgrange on December 22nd
Sunrise at Newgrange on December 22nd.


A smaller group outside Newgrange on December 22nd
A smaller group outside Newgrange on December 22nd.


The Newgrange entrance illuminated by the rising sun on December 22nd
The Newgrange entrance illuminated by the rising sun on December 22nd.

5000 year old solar alignment

Above the entrance of the Newgrange mound there is a opening called a roof-box. On mornings around the winter solstice a beam of light penetrates the roof-box and travels up the 19 metre passage and into the chamber. As the sun rises higher, the beam widens so that the whole chamber is dramatically illuminated.

Access to the chamber on the Solstice mornings is decided by a lottery that takes place at the end of September each year. All are welcome to gather outside the entrance to the Newgrange mound on each of the mornings from December 18th to December 23rd inclusive, sunrise is at 8.58am.

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The Boyne Valley - Birthplace of Ireland's Ancient East

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