Newgrange Winter Solstice 2016

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 good on Sunday 18th December.

There was some cloud on the horizon obscuring the rising sun at Newgrange on Sunday December 18th
There was some cloud on the horizon obscuring the rising sun at Newgrange on Sunday Dec. 18th


The rising sun soon cleared the cloud to bath Newgrange in golden light.
The rising sun soon cleared the cloud to bath Newgrange in golden light.


The white quartz on the Newgrange mound glows in the sunlight.
The white quartz on the Newgrange mound glows in the sunlight.


The sunbeam enters the chamber through an opening called the 'Roofbox' over the entrance door.
The sunbeam enters the chamber through an opening called the 'Roof-box' over the entrance door.


It's the higher sunbeam from the 'Roofbox' that illuminates the chamber inside Newgrange.
It's the higher sunbeam from the 'Roof-box' that illuminates the chamber inside Newgrange.


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.


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