Equinox Shines a Light on Loughcrew

Forget Stonehenge – the Autumn/Winter megalithic collection is in, and it’s green. Loughcrew, in County Meath, Ireland, is one of the country’s most important heritage sites, and twice yearly crowds flock from far afield to see its most famous feature, when the equinox sun shines directly on the Cairn T chamber’s beautiful backstone.

While there weren’t 36,500 people in attendance, or the grandiose policing policies that go with Stonehenge on the solstices, visitors to the megalithic complex on Sunday morning were treated to an intimate and touching experience.

As these photos and video from Newgrange.com show, those who donned their fleeces at dawn were treated to a wonderful sunrise.

Groups were then allowed to make their way inside the chambered tomb, which is thought to date back to around 3,300 BC, to marvel at its unique rock-carved petroglyphs.

The carvings are among some of the most stunning in Europe, with spirals, leaves and lines carving a bond between ancient artist and beholder.

The equinoxal event is strikingly similar to that at the better known Newgrange, which allows a thin beam of light to penetrate its narrow chamber on the poignant date.

Equinoxal structures are seen around the world, from Egypt to Mexico – even Yorkshire and Manhatten have their day in the sun.

Judging by these pictures there were none of the unhinged revellers we saw at Stonehenge three months ago – everything’s a little more relaxed in Ireland, isn’t it?

MOVIE: Loughcrew Equinox – Ireland

Images courtesy of www.newgrange.com