Ireland Observances Spring Equinox Events

Grianan of Aileach in Ireland – Spring Equinox Observance

Observe the spring equinox sunrise at Grianan of Aileach, Ireland

Griahan_of_aileach_Ireland

Grianan of Aileach in Donegal, Ireland

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.

Sources:

Buncrana History
Megalithic Ireland

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.

Back to all events.

Article & Research by Lucia Beznik; Edited & Image Research by Olga Grapsas

About the author

Olga

16 Comments

  • What a beautiful place this must be to visit. I love what its name translates to “stone fortress of the sun”, “palace of the sun.” I even love the location, with the grass and heather….and ocean? Would be nice to be there for an Equinox sunrise, and also watch the stars come out at night.

  • Are there any plans for a celebration of the Winter Solstice in December 1916. I have a friend coming from England that is very interested in this.

    • Hi Declan – best if you contact any local groups that would know about organised events. I’m not sure if this site has anything in particular for the winter solstice – have you thought of Newgrange? The main alignment for this site is for the winter solstice:

      http://www.newgrange.com/solstice-lottery.htm

      Even if you don’t find any organised events, just getting to one of these sacred sites and watching the sunrise can be a beautiful and profound event.

      You could also let your friend from England know that Stonehenge is actually open on the two solstices for people to go right up to the stones. The summer one is a big celebration; not so many people brave the weather in December.

      Hope you find a wonderful place to welcome the re-birth of the sun!

    • Hi Declan,

      I’ve had a look into it myself, but I couldn’t find any official events organised at the site for the Winter Solstice. That being said, I’m pretty sure there will be plenty of people making plans amongst themselves to go up for the solstice sunrise, so both of you could likely find something happening anyway I’d say.

    • Hi Declan,

      I agree with Ella on the part that going to a sacred site to watch the solstice, even when there are no groups, can be really special nonetheless.

      So it might be worth going to this particular site to see the winter solstice sunrise, even if it doesn’t specifically align at that time.

  • Thanks Olga, that’s an amazing ancient monument and a breath taking location. Great videos from you and Lucia which make you feel like your there.

  • I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stop watching this video — such a beautiful place! And such a beautiful way to greet the sun and celebrate in nature.

      • Great finding Lucia 🙂

        This seems like a really amazing site! I had never heard of this place before, and it makes me wonder how many more exists such as this all around the world which are not well-known or barely spoke about and yet contains such incredible and precise alignment with the solar alignment..

        Very special indeed <3

        • Yes Lucia sent through a really amazing find. It really makes me wonder how much more there is that we just don’t know about, so with more eyes on deck and more research submissions coming through we’ll really be able to see a testament to how vast the spirituality of the sun goes, and perhaps prove just how popular and significant to the times it is.

        • I also wondered the same. There seem to be so many sites in the UK for example. Much more than just the well known ones. Sometimes whole areas around sites seem to have held special significance, like in Avebury.

          I’d never heard of this Grianan of Aileach site (and still not quite sure how to pronounce it 😉 ) Until not too long ago wasn’t even aware of the existence of these ‘hillforts.’ But apparently there are many around Ireland, and Scotland as well. I haven’t really read up on them, but it seems the term hillfort is bit deceptive. Like painting it simply as a mediaeval defensive structure on a hill top or something. But they seem to be used as sacred sites initially?

          • Yes I found the same Karim, about certain people preferring to just call them “forts”. But there definitely seems to be much more to them, and in this particular one for example, a special and strong energy has been reported to be inside, including one musician not being able to record the interview there, children commenting on the special feel of the place, etc. Like you, I was also amazed once I started doing the research, how many of these kinds of mysterious places exist, and their link and alignments to the Sun.

      • Thanks a lot for posting Olga and thanks Lucia for the additional link.
        Beautiful videos, soothing and nostalgic … yet the Sun is still there …

      • Thanks very much, Lucia! Love that drones are so accessible these days and people are making these incredible videos. Wish we had them back in the day for those all those astral projection explorations 🙂

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