(Thanks @Guywoods for the image)

It’s the shortest day of the year, and in Dublin this morning it’s a bright and sunny morning, perfect for those lucky enough to experience the wonder that is Newgrange the oldest neolithic monument in the world older than Stonehenge or the Pyramids in Egypt.

Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. Above the entrance to the passage at Newgrange there is a opening called a roof-box. This baffling orifice held a great surprise for those who unearthed it. Its purpose is to allow sunlight to penetrate the chamber on the shortest days of the year, around December 21st, the winter solstice.

People gather at Newgrange in the morning darkness to end the longest night of the year as people did 5,000 years before them , it’s quite a remarkable experience, so popular now there is a free lottery system for tickets to the event.

It’s a great time for reflection in what is such a hectic time of the year, to stop for a moment and appreciate out lives and families and look forward to the next season and year ahead.