At the 5000 year old Loughcrew megalithic cairn T in Ireland, the rising sun
on the mornings around the equinoxes (March and September) illuminate the passage and chamber.
The backstone of the chamber with its engraved sun symbols is bathed in a blaze
of golden light during the 50 minute illumination
Spring Equinox 2014
Autumn Equinox 2012
Autumn Equinox 2011
All those who made the effort to get up early on Sunday the 20th September 2009
were rewarded by a glorious
sunrise that illuminated the backstone inside the chamber of Cairn T.
The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed and everybody
got to spend time in the chamber and witness first hand the illumination of the backstone.
Spring Equinox - March 2009
The mornings were foggy leading up the the equinox, so a relatively small group gathered around
6:30am at Cairn T on Friday 20th March. Their optimism was rewarded and the equinox sunrise broke
through the fog to illuminate the chamber and backstone.
The conditions on Monday the 22nd of September 2008 were perfect for the
to illuminate the passage and chamber of Cairn T at Loughcrew. Many thanks to
Clare Tuffy for the beautiful photographs.
The best morning in March 2008 for the Spring Equinox
was the 22nd which was a near perfect sunrise, when the sun rose above a little low cloud,
Cairn T was brilliantly illuminated, rewarding the hardy souls that braved the arctic winds and sub zero temperatures.
Equinox - September 2007
It was a misty dawn on the 22nd September 2007 at Loughcrew.
The sun did break through the morning mist to illuminate the backstone, much
to the delight of the 60 people who gathered at Cairn T.
The rising sun illuminates the passage and chamber of the megalithic Cairn T at
Loughcrew around the March and September equinoxes. Many thanks to Ken Williams
for the featured photographs from the morning of 22nd September 2006
Autumn Equinox - 2005
photos by Ken Williams.
Beginning with the sunrise
at 7:20am, four great photographs of the equinox sunbeam
illuminating the backstone of Cairn T and finishing off with a
photography of the chamber at 8:17am where the sunbeam has moved
off the backstone.
Due to adverse weather conditions on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of March 2005 the spring equinox sunrise didn't illuminate
the chamber of Cairn T at Loughcrew.
The sunrise on the March 23rd
was a perfect sunrise to illuminate the backstone
of the chamber in Cairn T.
The progress of the sunbeam on the backstone inside Cairn T at Loughcrew was video
recorded on the morning of March 23rd 2005. The 50 minute video has been
compressed to 1 minute 46 seconds and included in a
Autumn Equinox - September 2004
The equinox rising sun breaks through the low cloud at 7:20am on the 21st September 2004.
The rising sun illunimated the interior of Loughcrew Cairn T from 7:27am to 8:13am.
Spring Equinox - March 2004
This image photographed inside Cairn T at 6:51am shows the shaped beam of equinox
sunlight illuminating the back stone. Over a period of about 45
minutes the beam moves to the bottom right corner of the backstone.
Autumn Equinox - September 2002
Tim O'Brien in his book
Light Years Ago states "It
would appear that the construction of Cairn T was specifically
designed to cleverly fashion a beam of light from the rising and
early risen sun around the time of the equinoxes to define the four
year equinox or leap year cycle."
Saint Patrick and the Spring Equinox
Saint Patrick's day is celebrated within a few days of the Spring Equinox, could it be that the Spring Equinox
Festival was christianised to Saint Patrick's day and that this knowledge has been lost over time?
Boyne Valley Private Day Tour
Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and culture of the Boyne Valley with our full-day private tours.
Visit Newgrange World Heritage site, explore the Hill of Slane, where Saint Patrick famously lit the Paschal fire.
Discover the Hill of Tara, the ancient seat of power for the High Kings of Ireland.