In pre-Christian Ireland, life was governed by the movements of the sun. The calendar of the ancient Irish was based around the high, mid and low points of the sun. The summer solstice was seen as a time to banish evil spirits, through the light of the sun, and celebrate the arrival of summer.
The summer solstice sees the sun reach its highest point in the sky and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Typically observed around June 21st or 22nd, this astronomical turning point has been marked by our ancient ancestors here in Ireland for thousands of years!
The ancient people of Ireland would use this time to pray for a good harvest, as it was halfway through the growing season. It was seen as a time of change, nature, and new beginnings. It was also associated with fertility.
This time was celebrated with bonfires, singing, dancing and feasting. For this year’s summer solstice, why not set your alarm and wake up to watch the solstice sun rise!
Newgrange Summer Solstice