Newgrange Winter Solstice 2014

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 perfect on Friday 19th December for a magnificent solstice morning at Newgrange.

Newgrange Winter Solstice Sunrise
The rising sun at Newgrange.

Newgrange Winter Solstice Winter Solstice Sunbeam in the Newgrange passage.

Newgrange Winter Solstice
The white quartz glows in the sunlight at Newgrange.

Newgrange Winter Solstice
A perfect sunrise to illuminate the passage and chamber at Newgrange.

Winter Solstice Sunbeam
The solstice lottery winners were experiencing a wonderful sunrise in the Newgrange chamber while the people outside waited patiently for their turn to enter the chamber.

Newgrange Passage
The sunbeam retreating from the passage at 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.