Watch today's winter solstice sunrise at Newgrange through this live stream

Normally reserved for lucky ticket lottery winners, this year's Winter Solstice in Newgrange can be watched by anyone, anywhere
Watch today's winter solstice sunrise at Newgrange through this live stream

Older than the pyramids, Newgrange passage tomb in Ireland is world famous for its annual solar alignment where the winter solstice sunrise illuminates its sacred inner chamber in a golden blast of light.

As we come to the darkest part of a winter overshadowed by a global pandemic, there is a light on the horizon.

The Winter Solstice takes place today, marking the shortest day of the year. It is a focal point of the season each year as people celebrate the brighter days to come.

Usually, crowds gather at Newgrange passage tomb in Co Meath, which, is older than the pyramids, to observe a beautiful solar alignment phenomenon as the rising sun illuminates the inner chamber, a spectacle that only happens at this time of year thank to some ingenious Neolithic engineering.

A Winter Solstice sunrise at Newgrange in 2016. Picture: John Coveney Photography
A Winter Solstice sunrise at Newgrange in 2016. Picture: John Coveney Photography

For obvious reasons, the OPW has decided against bringing a random selection of lottery winners together in the small space this year and instead will broadcast the visual feast for all to see on its YouTube channel this morning.

This means sun worshipers and archaeology enthusiasts everywhere can enjoy the occasion, from Meath to Morocco, as long as they have access to social media. It will be a welcome viewing of the inside of Newgrange too, which has been closed to the public since the pandemic began. 

The OPW also live-streamed yesterday's sunrise, which is available to watch here:

While it remains closed for the foreseeable future, the visitor centre is currently open and there are tours available to the passage tombs along the banks of the Boyne.

"The chamber in the Neolithic passage tomb at Newgrange has been closed to the public since March of this year and will remain closed in line with the Government Guidelines/Recommendations surrounding Covid-19," the OPW adds.

"The Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre has now re-opened to visitors along with access to the site surrounding the monument at Newgrange. The visitor centre is open daily from 9am until 4pm, with the last bus leaving the Visitor Centre at 3pm. Access to the monument site is only available through the visitor centre."

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