Tara Samhain Sunrise

Mound of the Hostages - Tara
Mound of the Hostages on the Hill of Tara

The Samhain Sunrise in early November illuminates the chamber of the Mound of the Hostages on the Hill of Tara. Samhain is the cross quarter of the astronomical year, half way between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. The equinox sunrise illuminates Cairn T at Loughcrew and the winter solstice sunrise illuminates the passage and chamber of the great mound at Newgrange.

Samhain Sunrise
Samhain Sunrise at the Mound of the Hostages

This Samhain Sunrise was photographed on the 13th of November about a week after the cross quarter day, so the rising sun illuminated the side of the chamber rather than the back. The parallel lines are a shadow from the iron gate at the entrance to the mound.

Samhain Sunrise - Mound Of the Hostages
Mound of the Hostages at 8:07am on November 13th 2005

Lia Fail in the Samhain sunrise
Lia Fáil in the Samhain sunrise on the Hill of Tara

Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny) in the Samhain sunrise, now standing on the King's Seat or Forrad, the stone once stood in front of the entrance to the Mound of Hostages. According to legend on the inauguration of a worthy high king the stone would roar its approval.

Sheep on Hill of Tara
Sheep grazing on the Hill of Tara in the Samhain sunshine.

Hill of Tara
Samhain sunrise on the Hill of Tara viewed from King's Seat or Forrad.

Boyne Valley Private Day Tour

Boyne Valley Tours
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. Book Now