Evenings to get brighter as today is shortest day of the year

Winter Solstice celebrations will be held in Meath and Dublin

Evenings to get brighter as today is shortest day of the year

A chamber at Newgrange | Image: Facebook/Boyne Valley Tours

December 21st is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.

It means that from now on, daylight time starts to get slightly longer each day.

Celebrations will take place in Newgrange, Co Meath - where people gather to see the sunrise.

Sunrise is usually at 8.58am.

Dublin will also mark the event, with the 7th annual City of Dublin Winter Solstice Celebration Festival.

This is being held from 6.00pm to 8.00pm at the DIT Grangegorman Campus.

Producer of the Winter Solstice Experience, Enda Donnellan, spoke to Newstalk Breakfast.

"The origin of Christmas and New Years is the Winter Solstice - it's the re-birth of the sun into the New Year.

"It doesn't belong to any religion yet its universal...It's the natural solar alignment that crosses the globe every year.

"Our ancient ancestors of all various cultures have aligned their monuments with these solar lines that cross the globe, and in building those monuments they empower those monuments and people have gathered in those monuments for thousands and thousands of years".

But people and motorists are also being reminded to take care, as the evenings start to get shorter.

Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres Ireland, said: "A lot of newer cars come with day-time running lights (DTRLs) as standard, this means they have lights on once the engine is running even during daylight time.

"This is a huge boost to road safety.

"However, there is a significant amount of older vehicles on our roads and many of these cars and vans do not have daytime running lights, so for the drivers of those vehicles our advice is to drive with dipped headlights all day long.

"If motorists take this small step of always driving with their lights on, day and night, we believe it would be a great improvement for road safety this Christmas and into the New Year".