Winter Solstice 2021
What is the Winter Solstice?
Today is Winter Solstice (An Grianstad) 2021 in Ireland, an occasion that has been marked for at least the last 5000 years. As the light in each day has gradually shortened, we welcome December 21st with optimism and hope for the lighter days ahead.
The story of Winter Solstice has travelled through Celtic Myth and is still told today. The tale goes that the Winter Solstice marked a great battle each year between the Oak King (light) and the Holly King (dark). The Oak King (light) would win the battle each year, then the light would start to return! Hooray!
How can I celebrate?
There are a variety of iconic locations in Ireland that locals and visitors attend to celebrate this beautiful tradition. Popular places include The Hill of Tara in Co. Meath, Knockroe Passage Tomb in Kilkenny and Carrowkeel in Sligo. As well as all of these impressive locations, the main attraction is at Newgrange, County Meath, a stunning grand passage tomb that was built in 3200 BC, architecturally designed so that beams of light appear at dawn on the shortest day of the year. Every year, thousands of people apply for tickets, with only a select few who are chosen to attend inside this historical location.
Winter Solstice is the perfect entry point to the Christmas and New Year period. What better way to get excited for the festive celebrations and the clarity of a brand new year than with the hope and joy of light and life.
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