< link rel="DCTERMS.replaces" href="http://trappedcivilservant.blogspot.com" > Aginoth's Retirement Ramblings: ....and relax

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

....and relax

No more work for 13 days....whooooooopeeeeee.

Stayed in bed until 7:45 this morning...luxury, still feel absolutely knackered though, just the lack of work stress, I should have more energy come tomoroow; ready to get teh house ready for the festivities.

So today is the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice is celebrated at Dawn and Dusk at Stonehenge today by the druids, it is now officialy Yuletide :o) No pressies until Sunday though. The days start getting longer from here on in, so I may get to travel to and from work in daylight again in a month or two

The winter Solstice is the most significant time of year at another of my favourite places to visit...Newgrange in The Republic of Ireland:o)

The passage and chamber of Newgrange, a splendid neolithihic tomb in Ireland, are illuminated by the winter solstice sunrise. A shaft of sunlight shines through the roof box over the entrance and penetrates the passage to light up the chamber. The dramatic event lasts for 17 minutes at dawn from the 19th to the 23rd of December. One of the passage tombs of the Brú na Bóinne complex in County Meath, is the most famous of all Irish prehistoric sites. Originally built c. 3200 BCE according to the most reliable Carbon 14 dates available, this makes it more than 600 years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, and 1,000 years more ancient than the Stonehenge trilithons, (the earliest stages of Stonehenge are roughly contemporary with Newgrange). Although it was built thousands of years ago, it lay lost for centuries until the late 17th century, when men looking for building stone uncovered it, and described it as a cave. It was much restored between 1962 and 1975. It consists of a vast man-made stone and turf mound retained within a circle of huge kerbstones topped by a high inward-leaning wall of white quartz. A long passage, only going in one third of the length of the mound, leads to a cruciform (cross-shaped) chamber. Every year, at the time of the winter solstice approx 9.17am December 21, the sun shines directly along this passage into the chamber for about 15 minutes as it rises.

Myself and Mrs.A last visited it in 2000, and took the opportunty to take the guided tour into teh mound itself, we have had the pleasure of standing in teh central chamber, the sense of age is overwhelming, the neolithic spiral artwork amazing, it is well deserving of it's World Heritage Site Status, and i can't wait to go back an show it to the Agnothlings.

According to Irish mythology Newgrange was one of the sidhe or fairy-mounds where the Tuatha Dé Danann lived. It was built by the Dagda, but his son Aengus later tricked him out of it. According to some versions of the story, the hero Cúchulainn was born there.

And so my Pocture today has to be Newgrange....Click on the photo to enlarge (recommended)

Spiral Art on the Entrance Stone to Newgrange

Lots more Images of Newgrange Here


Blogger Spinsterella said...

On Radio 4 this morning they kept saying that Newgrange was "just outside Dublin".

Not it frigging isn't, it's about 40 miles away!

Ireland's a pretty small country, 40 miles is a fair old distance

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 2:18:00 pm  
Blogger Shelli said...

Happy vacation! Don't drive the missus crazy!:)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 3:11:00 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Great post, Newgrange is now on my list of places I have to visit.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 5:17:00 pm  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

Thanks for the history lesson. I always feel a bit guilty about knowing so little about Ireland. My Dad's family was from there.

I too look forward to the lengthening of the days. We're at the 53rd parallel so probably get similar amounts of light and dark to you guys.

Enjoy your long break from work!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 6:05:00 pm  
Blogger Chas Ravndal said...

hello and merry christmas.

Btw, Michele sent me

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 7:56:00 pm  
Blogger Kimi said...

Very interesting! Also, I'm with you on getting 13 days off of work. Today was my last day until after the New Year!

Michele sent me!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 8:25:00 pm  
Blogger kenju said...

Thanks for the lesson. I never heard of that place before and I want to know more about it!

Michele sent me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 8:27:00 pm  
Anonymous kimbofo said...

Lucky you: 13 days off!! I'm getting five days off - and that includes the weekend!

I went to Newgrange in 1999 and found it fascinating. Thanks for reminding me about it. I may have to dig out my photographs now.

By the way, Michele sent me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 8:59:00 pm  
Blogger Prego said...

That's got to be the coolest thing about living in a country as old as yours. Here in America, we have very little value in the ancient... Not even our senior citizens get a fair shake.

Interesting stuff...


Here via Michele today

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 9:07:00 pm  
Blogger S.I.D. said...

Yay! Newgrange is only down the road and its a great day out.The chamber is fantastic but bookings for being there on the 21st run into years.

Its also a stonethrow from the site of the Battle of the Boyne 1690-2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005 1:06:00 am  
Anonymous faira said...

beautiful pictures! michele sent me

Thursday, December 22, 2005 9:09:00 am  
Blogger Stephen (aka Q) said...

The Government of Canada just built a war memorial museum. The architect designed it so that, every year, on November 11, a shaft of sunlight illuminates the tomb of the unknown soldier.

It's very cool … but apparently it's been done before, about 5,000 years ago.

Thursday, December 22, 2005 5:08:00 pm  
Anonymous Pearl said...

Isn't that fascinating. I never heard of Newgrange. Older than a pyramid even. What a privelege to visit there.

happy solstice. The year only gets brighter from here on in.

Friday, December 23, 2005 1:13:00 am  
Anonymous Pearl said...

Course I didn't know about the Canadian one either and I live nearly on top of that.

Friday, December 23, 2005 1:15:00 am  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home