Jun 21, 2010

Welcome, Summer!

The solstice was celebrated in ancient Ireland. While most people know about Newgrange, the Megalithic passage tomb in County Meath, there is at least one other site in Ireland where the solstice was observed by ancient people. (I'm sure there are more, and there were even more.)

Even standing stones may have marked the sun's movement as this web page suggests.

An email sent recently by Michael Fox alerted me to Carrowkeel where there are cairns identified by letters. The cairnes are located on the top of the Bricklieve Mountains in County Sligo.

The summer solstice is also celebrated on the Hill of Tara.

In the US the summer solstice is considered the first day of summer, but in Ireland, it's considered mid-summer. But whatever you call it, it is an event that astronomers would have recognized, and the ancient Irish druids were astronomers. It's no wonder they built monuments to capture the sun (or the moon) during these cycles.

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