Ever feel like there’s not enough hours in the day? Well, today in Ireland there’s just 7.5 hours of daylight with sunrise happening at 8:38am, and sunset at 16:08pm. However many people gather pre-dawn at ancient sites to witness the amazing phenomenon that is the Winter Solstice, in Irish “An Grianstad”, literally translating as “the sun stop”. The sun moved slowly South since last June to its farthest Southerly point, it “stops” for approximately three days before it starts to slowly creep back north again.
In Ireland. the Winter Solstice is celebrated during this pause at midwinter. Our sacred sites such as the UNESCO monument at Newgrange tell us that Winter Solstice was important enough over 5,000 years ago to build an impressive passage and chamber which is aligned to the morning’s rising sun for this solar event.
Newgrange was built by Stone Age farmers, the mound is 85m (279ft) in diameter and 13m (43ft) high, an area of about 1 acre. A passage measuring 19m (62ft) leads into a chamber with 3 alcoves. Newgrange is surrounded by 97 large stones called kerbstones some of which are engraved with megalithic art; the most striking is the entrance to the passage tomb.
You can watch a live stream tomorrow morning at 8:45am, click on Winter Solstice
Ireland Hops invites groups to choose their own tour route with plenty of advice and input from Mia to help you plan. We take small groups of up to 16 all over Ireland to experience the magic of our island. You can include Newgrange passage tomb on your tour to the historic Boyne Valley of Co Meath in Ireland.
Contact us for more details to plan your route at Irelandhopstours@gmail.com.