Winter solstice sunrise at 5,000-year-old Newgrange monument broadcast live online
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Winter solstice sunrise at 5,000-year-old Newgrange monument broadcast live online

A MYSTICAL Irish experience dating back over 5,000 years is being live streamed so it can be enjoyed around the world.

At dawn in Ireland on the shortest days of the year, a narrow beam of sunlight penetrates the roof-box of the prehistoric Newgrange monument in Co. Meath, which is aligned with the rising sun of the winter solstice.

Reaching the floor of the chamber, the beam of light gradually widens as the sun rises until the whole room is illuminated.

Sunlight enters the passage tomb (Image: Brian Lynch / Ireland's Content Pool)
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The effect at the passage tomb – which predates Stonehenge and pyramids of Egypt – marks the end of winter and the start of new life.

Given the limited time and space to experience the 17-minute solstice effect, demand for tickets is high.

There were over 33,000 applications from across the globe for this year’s Newgrange Lottery, with each of the 60 lucky winners allowed to bring one guest.

However everyone will now be able to experience the event – weather permitting – from their own home.

Fáilte Ireland and the Office of Public Works have teamed up to provide a live stream that will broadcast the magic of the winter solstice within the passage tomb.

Welcoming the initiative, Minister of State for Tourism and sport, Brendan Griffin TD said: “This is a fantastic way to share the unique magic of Newgrange with a much larger audience.

“It is also a great way to highlight the type of compelling history and heritage that Ireland offers as a destination.”

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To watch the winter solstice experience live at Newgrange, which begins 8.30am GMT on Thursday, December 21, click here to visit the Ireland’s Ancient East YouTube page, or play the video below.