Winter Solstice Dates & Times - Newgrange, Ireland
Solstice literally means 'Sun Stands Still', for a few days around the time of the
winter solstice the sun appears
to stand still in the sky in that its elevation at noon does not seem to change.
The winter solstice date is normally considered to be the 21st of December in the northern hemisphere,
however at the winter solstice the position of the sun remains the same for three days.
The following are the winter solstice mid point dates and times.
The time zone used is "Greenwich Mean Time" (GMT) or "Universal Time" (UT).
GMT or UT is time kept on the Greenwich meridian in London, England at longitude zero.
At Newgrange in Ireland a wonderful event takes place for a
few days around the winter solstice each year, the passage and chamber of
the 5000 year old monument are illuminated by the winter solstice sunrise.
A shaft of sunlight shines through the roof box over the entrance and
penetrates the passage to light up the chamber. The dramatic event lasts
for 17 minutes at dawn from the 19th to the 23rd of December.
Winter Solstice Dawn at Newgrange, County Meath, Ireland
Curiosity and belief create tradition and custom becomes ritual. This is true of many things, such as the annual mid-winter pilgrimage
to the great Stone Age passage grave monument of Newgrange in Brú na Bóinne,
the famous Boyne Valley in Co. Meath. During
the solstice, the five shortest days of the year, the rising sun will, given kindly weather conditions,
strike the northern or back recess of the chamber. Fusing nature and science, with the honouring of the dead,
the phenomenon devised 5,000 years ago continues to fascinate.
The Winter Solstice sunrise illuminates the passage way leading into the burial
chamber of the megalithic passage tomb at Newgrange on the 21st December
2003. This wonderful photograph by Alan Betson was printed on the
front page of the Irish Times newspaper on the 22nd December 2003.
from the Winter Solstice at Newgrange on the 22nd December 2002. A rainbow
heightened the experience of those on the outside, as the fortunate few on
the inside, selected by lottery experienced the illumination of the passage
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.