As the sun rises at 5.10am on Thursday June 21st you will hear a light humming and a gently drumming within Grange Stone Circle in County Limerick.
This practice reflects over 5,500 years of tradition since the Circle was constructed and marks the beginning of Summer. The celebration is a tradition that goes back as far as records and memory allows and this year will be no different. The events that are organised may be slightly different to what our ancestors would have practiced however the message and the focus essentially mirrors thousands of years of living history.
Technically the Summer Solstice occurs when the tilt of the Earth is most inclined toward the sun creating the longest day of the year and the beginning of Summer. In early Pre Christian times it was nature and the seasons as we know them that were worshiped as the lives of people depended to a great extent on the success of their harvest. Legend tells that it was common practice to offer the Sun God sacrifices with the great hope that he would return fair weather during the summer season.
If you are at Grange Stone Circle on the morning of June 21st you may see the sun shine directly through the centre of the circle entering between the two largest megaliths matched by a pair of equally impressive slabs on the southwest. As the largest Stone Circle in Ireland and undoubtedly one of the most important Bronze Age sites in Europe, Grange Stone Circle transforms into a giant Sun Dial on June 21st - all we need is for the sun to shine to experience in full glory what the first architects & Engineers created.
The Lough Gur Summer Solstice Festival caters for every age group. Now in its 13th year the celebrations are organised by Lough Gur Development, a non profit voluntary society set up to improve and promote the local area. The organisers have created a series of events for 2018 and we welcome everyone to visit Lough Gur to join in these unique event.
June 21st: Yoga by the lakefront of Lough Gur with Maggie May at 7am*.
A gentle 30 minute awaking of the mind and body yoga session. You are welcome to bring along your own breakfast to enjoy after the event. Cost of participation is €5.
*Please note that if it is raining on the day the event will be cancelled*
June 21st: Long Walk on a Long Day:
One of the featured highlights at the Summer Solstice Festival each year is the Long Walk on a Long Day that will leave from the Lakefront at 7.30pm on June 21st. This is a rare opportunity to treck over and around the hills of Lough Gur with an expert guide. The views are simply spectacular and the company and tales told along the way make for a warm evening whatever the weather may be.
June 24th: Fairy Trail Tour and Workshop:
You will be guided along the newly renovated fairy trail with a magical guide and follow after to Lough Gur Heritage Centre for an arts and crafts master class. Visitors will also receive a special fairy trail activity sheet. Booking is essential for this event as only 20 places are available.
Phone 061 385186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
For more on the Lough Gur Solstice Festival 2018 click here.
For more on the Fairy Trail Tour and Workshop click here.