Winter Solstice at Newgrange in The Boyne Valley

We are blessed in Ireland to have so many remarkable Megalithic Sites and especially to have Newgrange which is one of the most famous in the world.

The best time to see inside the chamber is of course during the Winter Solstice which has been impossible for the last two years. But it is now possible to enjoy the spectacle from the comfort of your own home. The OPW are delighted to announce that it will once again live-stream the Winter Solstice Sunrise from within the chamber at the Neolithic passage tomb of Newgrange.  This phenomenal event can be viewed live each morning from the 20th to 22nd December on gov.ie/opw and heritageireland.ie.

It is great that the OPW is able once more to broadcast the Winter Solstice Sunrise live over three days to the four corners of the world, allowing us all to gather and watch the passing of the longest night of the year and to welcome the new year of the Solar Calendar. Watching the light creep into the five-thousand-year-old passage tomb in real time is a moving event that has the power to fill us both with wonder at the ancient architects’ ingenuity and with hope for the future.

The solar alignment of the passage tomb at Newgrange to face the rising sun on December 21st is a significant astronomical finding of global importance. Originally re-discovered by Professor Michael J. O’Kelly in 1967, other researchers have, since then validated O’Kelly’s interpretation, giving it scientific credibility and meaning. Analysis of high-resolution imagery taken during last year’s research programme adds to the convincing body of evidence that the solar illumination of the tomb was intentional.

This makes it similar to so many wonderous sites around the world constructed by remarkable people such as the Inca’s who constructed Machu Picchu.

Maybe make a plan to visit in the Spring but in the meantime members of the public are advised not to travel directly to the site at Solstice, as there will be road closures in place around Newgrange itself. It is open to visitors year round and the best way to book your trip is through the Bru na Boinne website here https://brunaboinne.admit-one.eu/ and take time to find out more on the wonderful Discover Boyne Valley website

Happy Solstice!

The Novel Traveller

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