Grianstad an Gheimhridh / The Winter Solstice

Grianstad an Gheimhridh, 21 Nollaig

An bhfuil mórán ar eolas agat faoi Ghrianstad an Gheimhridh? Is feiniméan réalteolaíoch é, a cheiliúrann an lá is giorra agus an oíche is faide sa bhliain. Sa Leathsféar Thuaidh, tarlaíonn Grianstad an Gheimhridh ar an 21 nó an 22 Nollaig, nuair a scalann an ghrian go díreach os cionn Thrópaic an Ghabhair.

Ar feadh 17 nóiméad, ag éirí na gréine ar an lá is giorra sa bhliain, is féidir le solas na gréine scaladh díreach isteach sa séadchomhartha ag Sí an Bhrú, ní tríd an doras, ach tríd an oscailt bheag a cruthaíodh d’aon ghnó os cionn an bhealaigh isteach, ar a dtugtar ‘bosca an dín’, ag leathadh an tsolais ar fud an tSeomra. Ba é Grianstad an Gheimhridh tús na Bliana Úire i gcultúr Neoiliteach Ghleann na Bóinne – comhartha d’athbhreith sa dúlra agus athnuachan do bharra páirce, d’ainmhithe agus don chine daonna. Is féidir gur siombail chumhachtach den bhua dosheachanta idir bás thar beatha a bhí ann, b’fhéidir ag gealladh beatha úr do spioraid na marbh.

The Winter Solstice, December 21st

Do you know much about the Winter Solstice? It’s an astronomical phenomenon that marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice occurs on December 21st or 22nd, when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Capricorn.

At sunrise on the shortest day of the year, for 17 minutes, direct sunlight can enter the Newgrange monument, not through the doorway, but through the specially contrived small opening above the entrance known as the ‘roof box’, to illuminate the Chamber. To the Neolithic culture of the Boyne Valley, the winter solstice marked the start of the New Year – a sign of nature’s rebirth and promising renewed life to crops, animals and humans. It may also have served as a powerful symbol of the inevitable victory of life over death, perhaps promising new life to the spirits of the dead.

Foinsí / Sources:
Heritage Ireland
UNESCO

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