Newgrange And The Winter Solstice

By Martin B

Newgrange is an ancient monument located in County Meath, Ireland, that has captivated people for centuries with its mysterious history and remarkable engineering. This Neolithic passage tomb was built around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza.

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One of the most fascinating aspects of Newgrange is the way in which it aligns with the winter solstice, a phenomenon that has been observed for thousands of years.

At Newgrange, the rising sun on the morning of the winter solstice illuminates the inner chamber of the tomb through a narrow passage known as the “roof box.” The light enters the passage at a precise angle and illuminates a stone basin at the end of the chamber, creating a stunning display of light and shadow.

The alignment of Newgrange with the winter solstice is a remarkable feat of engineering and astronomy, especially considering that the monument was constructed over 5,000 years ago. The builders of Newgrange had to have a deep understanding of the movement of the sun and the changing seasons in order to create such a precise alignment.

The fact that the alignment still works today is a testament to the incredible skill and knowledge of the ancient Irish people who constructed the monument.

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The winter solstice has been an important event for people throughout history, and it continues to be celebrated in many cultures today. At Newgrange, visitors gather each year to witness the sunrise on the winter solstice and to experience the unique display of light and shadow that occurs within the tomb.

This event has become so popular that a lottery system is used to allocate tickets for the few available places inside the tomb on the day of the winter solstice! Today, visitors to Newgrange can experience the ancient tradition and witness the incredible display of light and shadow that occurs within the tomb on the winter solstice.