The importance of Summer Solstice ties back to ancient Celtic society’s reliance on agriculture and crops. The reliance and appreciation for the sun is what brought people closer to nature and furthered the understanding of the environment.
Through suffering and hardships during the winter months, the Solstice became an important celebration for success and ease during the summer.
The celebration of the Summer Solstice in Ireland is tied to their ancient landmarks. Ireland has one of the most prominent Neolithic sites known as Newgrange. It dates back to 5,000 years ago and is a popular tourist location. In the same area in County Meath, there is the Hill of Tara which has deep links to Irish folklore and is a popular location to celebrate the solstice.
According to Fáilte Ireland, Lough Gur in Limerick is also one of Ireland’s most important archaeological and historical sites – a mystical and enchanting place of stone circles, megalithic tombs, ring forts and castles.
The Grange Stone Circle at Lough Gur is the largest and most impressive of its kind in Ireland. Comprising of 113 standing stones, Grange Stone Circle was built around 2200 BC and is aligned with the rising sun of the summer solstice on June 21st. The Lough Gur Summer Solstice Festival celebrates the longest day of the year and has been a local tradition for more than 5000 years.