8 August 2017, 11:54 AM
From Neolithic stone arrangements to ancient pyramids, civilization has been marking the path and timing of the sun for thousands of years.
Whether you are looking to experience a truly authentic Pagan ceremony or simply dreaming about the views of man-made wonders illuminated during the equinox, these 6 ancient locations are perfect for taking in that winter solstice sun.
Most visited site to mark the solstice.
At a site older than the pyramids of ancient Egypt, you’ll find one of the biggest equinox celebrations to date. While the ceremonies here are far less exclusive than at other sites, it is by no means any less breathtaking.
Illuminated from the inside.
Although this mysterious mound was first classified by archeologists as a passage tomb, further observation has suggested that it is in fact an ancient temple. The perfect alignment of the chambers to receive the equinox sun further suggests that it was actually built specifically to celebrate the winter solstice! Those who wish to visit this magical place during this time will have to sign up ahead of time for a spot in this extremely exclusive celebration.
Over 6,500 years old!
Far older than the iconic Stonehenge, this megalith stone arrangement is said to be aligned with the direction of the sunset during the solstices. However, due to neglect and trespassers using some of the stones for building material, only a fraction of the original structure remains; visit while you still have the chance!
Visit the famous El Castillo.
The looming castle found within the ancient complex of Mayan Ruins is thought to have been built in consideration of astronomical shift. On the winter solstice enjoy surreal views as the sun rises upward along the edge of the pyramid. If you happen to be visiting during the fall or spring solstice, you can also see the shadows align to create a serpent shape at the site.
The second largest religious site in the world!
Like Newgrange, the ideal way to enjoy the solstice at this location is from within the confines of the structure, where the sun’s rays shine through the pillars, sitting perfectly at the center of the monument.
During the winter solstice, visitors can stand on the nearby Windmill Hill and watch as the sun gracefully slopes down the hill. Coincidence? Unlikely. This perfectly-executed phenomenon has led historians to believe that Glastonbury Tor was built specifically to celebrate the sun’s path.