Belfast Telegraph

Pagans gather at Newgrange to mark winter solstice

Hundreds of pagans gathered at the prehistoric Newgrange monument in Co Meath in the Irish Republic on Sunday to mark the winter solstice.

Followers of the ancient belief system came together at the ancient passage tomb for the start of the shortest day of the year.

Newgrange is aligned so that at sunrise on the five days of the solstice sunlight shines directly through the passage, illuminating the interior chamber of the mound.

The neolithic site was constructed around 3200 BC, making it older than the pyramids in Egypt and Stonehenge, where pagans also gather to mark the summer and winter solstices.

Visitors have to enter a lottery to enter the mound on the five days of the solstice and only groups of fifty are permitted at a time.

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