What: Spring Equinox Observance
Where: Grianan of Aileach in Donegal county, Ireland
When: Spring Equinox Time: Sunrise
About: Observe the spring equinox and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Inishowen peninsula from the ancient monument of Grianan of Aileach. The name Grianan of Aileach has been variously translated as “Stone Palace of the Sun“, “Fortress of the Sun” and “Stone Temple of the Sun“, and the folk legends suggest that prior to the cashel, this hill was associated with deities linked to the sun. Close by the Fort are the remains of a cairn and a holy well.
The monument is aligned to the rising sun of the equinoxes. In the early hours of the morning a beam of light enters the gate and stretches through the entire inside of the Grianán, reaching the wall opposite, dividing the whole place into a southern and northern half. This spectacular display lasts for over half an hour with the beam moving with the journey of the sun and becoming shorter as the sun continues to rise.
Further information about the site’s history, folklore, and notable features can be found here.
Below is a video showing the equinox sun-beam entering the monument:
Travel & Directions: From Letterkenny head east towards Derry on the N13 after 5 kilometres turn left at the roundabout, staying on the N13 heading for Inishowen. Shortly after Newtown Cunningham you will see Burt Castle on your left. Look out for a right turn for Grianan of Aileach. The monument is well sign-posted from this turn.
A Note About Visiting Ancient Sites:
Please be mindful and respectful of the ancient sites. Treat them with care as to not disturb them, damage them or remove anything from them. Help protect these incredible sites so that they can continue to stand the test of time.
Please note: this event is not run by The Spiritual Sun. Please contact the monument organizers directly or visit their website if you would like more details about this event.
Article & Research by Lucia Beznik; Edited & Image Research by Olga Grapsas