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.
Conditions were perfect on Saturday 20th December for a magnificent solstice
morning at Newgrange.
waiting for sunrise at Newgrange - 20th December 2015.
at Newgrange - 20th December 2015.
Welcoming the Winter Solstice Sunrise at Newgrange - 20th December 2015.
Solstice Sunbeam entering the passage at Newgrange - 20th December 2015.
Winter Solstice Sunbeam in the passage at Newgrange - 20th December 2015.
5000 year old solar alignment
Above the entrance to Newgrange 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.