The Newgrange monument will NOT be open to the public for winter solstice for the second year running. Instead of the traditional free public days at solstice, there will be a global livestream of the solstice illumination of the chamber, something that was very successful last year.
The Office of Public Works has announced the decision not to host the annual Winter Solstice Lottery Draw for 2021 as the chamber at the Neolithic Passage Tomb of Newgrange remains closed to the public. "The lottery draw is the usual process that chooses the successful participants who are entitled to be in the chamber during sunrise for each of the solstice mornings," an OPW spokesperson told Mythical Ireland.
"Due to its phenomenal success last year, the hugely significant solstice sunrise event will once more be live-streamed from within the chamber. This will enable everyone to experience this wonderful phenomenon from the comfort of their homes in locations throughout the world," the OPW said.
"The continued absence of visitors from the chamber at Newgrange presents us with an additional opportunity to further our research project with the National Monuments Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage."
"This research allows us to track, measure and monitor the movement of the winter sunlight coming through the roof box into the passage and chamber and to determine how the beam of dawn light interplays with the chamber as we move towards Solstice and then pass it."
Further details of the live-stream event from within the chamber on the solstice mornings in December will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Enter the ‘Ancient Sites’ section of this blog for a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the megalithic and sacred sites of Ireland. Find out all about the Stone Age and prehistoric ruins and learn more about the possible functions and alignments of these sites. Visit the great temples of Brú na Bóinne, the Hill of Tara, the ancient cairns of Loughcrew among many others.
Explore the ancient myths, legends and folklore of Ireland and their meaning. Read the epic Táin Bó Cuailnge, or the place-name myths in the Dindshenchas. Learn about how the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians came to Ireland and how the early texts describe various invasions of prehistoric Éire. Hear about Fionn and the Fianna, and discover how some myths might contain information about astronomy and the stars.
There is no doubt that the ancient megalith builders had a substantial knowledge of the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars through the heavens. Learn more about just how complex and impressive this knowledge was. There is evidence that the people of the Neolithic knew about the 19-year Metonic cycle of the moon, as well as being able to predict eclipses.