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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

The Winter Solstice In Newgrange Ireland

Today is the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. The turning point of the year marks the shortest day and longest night. But what is the connection to ancient Ireland?

Newgrange is a 5200year-old passage tomb located in the Boyne Valley, County Louth in Ireland. Built 500 years before the pyramids it remains a place of myth and mystery.

Above the entrance to the passage at Newgrange, there is an opening called a roof-box. Its purpose is to allow sunlight to penetrate the chamber to mark the Winter Solstice.

At dawn, a narrow beam of light penetrates the roof-box and reaches the floor, and gradually extends to the rear of the chamber.

As the sun rises higher, the beam widens within the chamber so that the whole room becomes dramatically illuminated. This event lasts for 17 minutes each year.

Build in the stone age the accuracy of Newgrange as a time-telling device is remarkable. For over 5000 years it has marked the turning of the year.

Enjoy the spectacle.

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