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.
About 500 people at Newgrange for the sunrise on December 21st.
Winter Solstice sunbeam inside Newgrange on December 21st.
Sunrise at Newgrange on December 22nd.
A smaller group outside Newgrange 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.