Winter Solstice Festival 2016

Set on the summit of Slieve Gullion is the highest surviving passage tomb in Ireland.  It is known locally as ‘the Calliagh Berra’s House’.  Every year on the winter solstice the setting sun illuminates the chamber inside and every year this is celebrated at the Winter Solstice Festival.  The Neolithic or New Stone Age monument dates to between 4000 B.C. and 2500 B.C., making it up to 6000 years old.  That could be 3000 years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt and nearly 4000 years older than England’s Stonehenge!  Or as old as them anyway…

This year we had a busy Winter Solstice Festival with ideal light conditions for almost all the hikes.  We were joined by Straw Craft Ireland who expertly led workshop participants through a range of techniques to enable them to craft their own unique straw and willow Christmas items, from angels to wreaths.  There was also a mindfulness meditation retreat, enabling participants to release some of the pre-Christmas stresses.