Winter Solstice Lottery
People gather at Newgrange for dawn on each of the mornings from December 18th to December 23rd inclusive. Sunrise is at 8.58am.
All access to the chamber is decided by lottery. However, everyone else is welcome to come and stand on the outside of the monument.
To enter the lottery, you can fill out an application form in Brú Na Bóinne Visitor Centre when you visit Newgrange. Alternatively you can send your postal address, a contact telephone number and an indication whether or not you have ever visited Newgrange by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. On receipt of these details a member of staff will complete an application on your behalf. Applicants must be over 10 years of age. An adult must accompany children under 18 years of age. Only applications on the official form can be entered into the draw. Applications are valid for the current year’s draw only.
The draw for places at Newgrange for Solstice 2017 will take place on September 29th 2017. Children from three local schools will choose the winning applicants. The successful people will be notified by mid October.
Sixty names are drawn, and each of those sixty people is invited along with a guest to attend on a specific morning. There are ten lottery winners and their guests in the chamber on each of the mornings. Some additional names are also drawn and placed on a reserve list. The reserve list is there in case someone whose name is drawn for the initial list is not contactable or else finds it impossible to travel to Newgrange on the date they have been assigned. The place at Newgrange for dawn is non-transferable. Lottery winners cannot offer their place in the chamber to someone else.
There were 32,682 entries for Solstice 2016.
There is no guarantee that there will be sunlight in the chamber on any of the mornings…the event is totally weather dependent!