When is the Longest Day of the Year? The longest day of the year in Ireland, known as the summer solstice, occurs around 21st June, with up to 17 hours of daylight in parts of the country. The June solstice (summer solstice) in Dublin is at 9:50 pm on Thursday, June 20, 2024.

In terms of daylight, this day is 9 hours, 30 minutes longer than the December solstice. In most locations north of the equator, the longest day of the year is around this date. The earliest sunrise is on June 17, and the latest sunset is on June 24.

Solstice and Longest Day Explained

The summer solstice, also known as midsummer or the June solstice, is the longest day of the year. It occurs when the sun reaches its highest and northernmost points in the sky. This happens around 21st June in the Northern Hemisphere, when the sun’s rays are most directly overhead.

Summer Solstice Definition

The summer solstice marks the official beginning of summer and is a significant event in many cultures, often celebrated with festivals and ceremonies. The longest day of the year provides the maximum amount of daylight, with some areas in Ireland experiencing up to 17 hours of sunlight on the solstice.

Longest Day of the Year

The longest day of the year is a result of the sun’s position in the sky. As the Earth’s axis tilts towards the sun, the Northern Hemisphere receives the most direct sunlight, leading to the summer solstice and the year’s longest day.

Significance of the Summer Solstice

The summer solstice is of great cultural and spiritual significance in Ireland and across the world. Many ancient sites, such as the Hill of Tara, are aligned with the sun’s position on this day, highlighting its importance in traditional Irish beliefs and celebrations.

summer solstice

When is the Longest Day of the Year?

The summer solstice in Ireland typically occurs around 21st June each year. In 2024, the summer solstice will take place at 9:50 pm on Thursday, 20th June. On the longest day of the year, sunrise in Dublin is around 4:53 am and sunset is approximately 9:57 pm, providing over 17 hours of daylight.

Date and Time of Summer Solstice in Ireland

The date and time of the summer solstice in Ireland is an important marker for the changing of the seasons. In 2024, the summer solstice will occur at 9:50 pm on Thursday, 20th June, signalling the official start of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere.

Sunrise and Sunset Times on the Longest Day

On the longest day of the year in Ireland, the sunrise in Dublin is around 4:53 am, while the sunset is approximately 9:57 pm. This provides over 17 hours of daylight for residents and visitors to enjoy the long summer days.

Duration of Daylight on the Longest Day

The duration of daylight on the summer solstice in Ireland can reach up to 17 hours, with the sun at its highest point in the sky around 1:26 pm. This extended period of sunlight is a result of Ireland’s high northern latitude, which significantly impacts the country’s seasonal variations in daylight hours.

Longest day of the year

Sunrise and Sunset in Ireland

Sunrise and sunset times in Ireland can vary considerably depending on the location. In general, cities on the east coast like Dublin see earlier sunrises and later sunsets compared to the west coast. For example, on 9th May, sunrise is at 5:31 am in Dún Laoghaire, while it’s 5:46 am in Cork on the southwest coast. The duration of sunrise and sunset also differs, with sunset lasting around 57 minutes in Dublin in June, compared to just 43 minutes in December.

Sunrise and Sunset by Month in Dublin

In Dublin specifically, the longest day of the year sees sunrise at 4:53 am and sunset at 9:57 pm, providing over 17 hours of daylight. This variation in daylight hours is influenced by the city’s high northern latitude of around 53 degrees.

Duration of Sunrise and Sunset in Ireland

The duration of sunrise and sunset in Ireland can also differ significantly depending on the time of year. For instance, in Dublin, the sunset lasts around 57 minutes in June, compared to just 43 minutes in December. This highlights the dramatic seasonal changes in the sun’s path across the sky, which is a result of the country’s high latitude.

sunrise and sunset in ireland

Variation in Sunrise and Sunset Times Across Ireland

Sunrise and sunset times can also vary considerably across different regions of Ireland. Cities on the east coast like Dublin generally experience earlier sunrises and later sunsets compared to the west coast. This is due to the differences in latitude and the sun’s position in the sky at different locations around the island.

Location Sunrise (9th May) Sunset (9th May)

Dún Laoghaire (Dublin)

5:31 am 8:56 pm

Cork (Southwest Coast)

5:46 am 9:01 pm

Donegal (Northwest Coast)

5:39 am 9:03 pm

Galway (West Coast)

5:43 am 9:00 pm

Summer Solstice Celebrations in Ireland

The arrival of the summer solstice in Ireland is marked by vibrant celebrations across the country, with the ancient Hill of Tara in County Meath being a particularly significant gathering place.

This historic site, believed to have been the seat of the High King of Ireland, attracts visitors from near and far to witness the magical moment of the summer solstice sunrise.

Hill of Tara Celebrations

The Hill of Tara is home to a wealth of ancient monuments, including the enigmatic ‘Lia Fail’ or ‘Stone of Destiny’, which is said to screech when the rightful king approaches.

As the sun rises on the longest day of the year, around 4:52 am, people flock to the hill to soak up the spiritual atmosphere and celebrate the solstice. The area’s ring forts, ancient tombs, and other archaeological wonders provide a breathtaking backdrop for these special celebrations.

Other Solstice Celebrations and Events

While the Hill of Tara is a focal point, summer solstice celebrations take place across Ireland, often involving music, dance, and the observance of traditional Irish customs.

These events provide an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to come together and mark the longest day of the year, embracing the energy and magic of the summer solstice.

From community festivals to intimate gatherings, the summer solstice celebrations in Ireland and other solstice celebrations and events showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage and connection to the natural world.

Best Places to Witness the Longest Day

The summer solstice in Ireland provides an opportunity to witness the longest day of the year in scenic locations around the country. Some of the best spots to view the sunrise and sunset include the Hill of Tara in County Meath, the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, and the Baily Lighthouse in Dublin.

Scenic Locations for Sunrise and Sunset

The Hill of Tara in County Meath is a renowned destination for summer solstice celebrations in Ireland. This ancient site, thought to have been the seat of the High King of Ireland, offers a magical setting to witness the sun rise on the longest day of the year. Visitors can soak up the spiritual atmosphere and observe the sunrise around 4:52 am.

Another picturesque location to experience the summer solstice in Ireland is the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. Towering over 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, the dramatic cliffs provide a stunning backdrop for watching the sun dip below the horizon in the evening.

In Dublin, the Baily Lighthouse at Howth Head offers panoramic views of the capital’s coastline, making it an ideal spot to witness both the sunrise and sunset on the longest day.

Recommended Accommodation and Dining Options

Visitors planning to attend the solstice celebrations at the Hill of Tara can find accommodation and dining options in nearby towns like Swords and Dublin. Good Food Ireland Approved Providers such as The Merrion, Conrad Dublin, The Shelbourne, and Essence Bistro offer welcome stops for refreshment and hospitality during the festivities.

Impact of Latitude on Daylight Hours

Ireland’s location at a high northern latitude of around 53 degrees significantly impacts the duration of daylight hours throughout the year. Dublin’s position north of the equator means the sun’s path across the sky is more oblique, resulting in longer periods of sunrise and sunset.

Dublin’s Latitude and Sun’s Path

On the summer solstice, the sun shines down at an angle of 60.1 degrees at its highest point in Dublin, compared to just 13 degrees above the horizon in December. This variation in the sun’s position causes notable differences in daylight hours, with Dublin experiencing up to 17 hours of daylight on the longest day.

Comparison with Other International Cities

In contrast, cities closer to the equator like New York (14 hours 20 minutes) and Manila (12 hours 48 minutes) receive significantly less daylight on the longest day of the year. This demonstrates the profound impact that latitude has on the hours of daylight in Ireland compared to other international locations.

Conclusion

The longest day of the year in Ireland, known as the summer solstice, occurs around 21st June, with parts of the country experiencing up to 17 hours of daylight. This significant astronomical event marks the official start of summer and is celebrated with various cultural festivals and gatherings, particularly at the ancient Hill of Tara site.

Ireland’s high northern latitude of 53 degrees plays a major role in the dramatic seasonal variations in daylight hours, with the sun’s more oblique path across the sky resulting in the country’s lengthy summer days and short winter nights.

Understanding the timing and impact of the summer solstice provides valuable insight into Ireland’s unique environmental characteristics and cultural traditions.

As the longest day of the year in Ireland approaches, the nation looks forward to revelling in the extended hours of sunlight and embracing the vibrant celebrations that honour this ancient and significant moment in the seasonal cycle.

FAQ

When is the longest day of the year in Ireland?

The longest day of the year in Ireland, known as the summer solstice, occurs around 21st June, with parts of the country experiencing up to 17 hours of daylight.

What are the two longest days of the year?

The two longest days of the year are the summer solstice, which occurs around 21st June, and the winter solstice, which occurs around 21st December.

Which is the shortest day in Ireland?

The shortest day in Ireland is the winter solstice, which occurs around 21st December.

Why is June 22 the longest day?

June 22 is not the longest day of the year in Ireland. The longest day, known as the summer solstice, typically occurs around 21st June, with parts of the country experiencing up to 17 hours of daylight.

When is the longest day of the year?

The longest day of the year in Ireland, known as the summer solstice, occurs around 21st June each year.

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