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    Spring Equinoxes 2015

    Considered an event that signaled the start of a new cycle of time for the ancient Maya, the Equinox is an astronomical phenomenon that occurs twice a year and at two different places in Yucatán: Dzibichaltún and Chichén Itzá.
    The phenomenon emphasizes the divine character steeped in Maya cosmogony in which the spring Equinox was interpreted as the start of the season of planting, while the autumn Equinox marked the beginning of the harvest.

    Dibilchaltun:
    Located 21 kilometers (13.8 miles) northwest of Mérida, this archaeological area was an ancient Maya ceremonial center that, according to the authorities, had its period of greatest splendor between 600 C.E. and 1000 C.E. (Note: Anno Domini, A.D., has been replaced with Common Era, C.E.)
    Its name means “Where there are structures on the flat stones.” It is here where visitors can witness one of the most important astronomical phenomena of the Maya world. It all begins around 5 AM when the sun makes its first appearance in the east.
    Little by little, through the windows and doors of the so-called “Tempo of the Seven Dolls,” (so named because just below the principle chamber seven clay figurines in human form were found), you can see the silhouette of the Astro king progress up to be positioned just behind the center of the building.
    This allows visitors to witness a stunning image of the sun and its rays shine through and frame the temple. It is a spectacle of precise moment and demonstrated to the Maya the change of season and the arrival of spring or autumn, among other things.

    Chichen Itza:
    Located 110 kilometers (72.3 miles) from Mérida, this archaeological area was an ancient Maya center that fused religion, war, and trade. Its name translates as “Mouth of the Well,” and it reached its zenith between 900 C.E. and 1200 C.E.
    From this, the Castle of Kukulkán, meaning “the plumed serpent,” culminates. It becomes a place where the Equinox can be viewed. It begins when the sun moves in an elliptical journey, crossing the Equator of the hemisphere East to West.
    The Equinox manifests itself in the Castle, through the magic of projection triangles of light and shade of the outline of a serpent, which are illuminated on the side of the north staircase. This is complemented by the carvings of plumed snake-heads that are found in the base of the pyramid.
    The wonderful thing of this phenomenon is that it points to the northeast, which is the exact direction of Sacred Well at Chichén Itzá, the place where Kukulkán descends to receive his tribute.

     

     


     

    Date:
    21 March

     

    Schedule:
    · Dzibilchaltún:5:00 a.m.
    · Chichen Itzá:4:00 p.m.


     

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