Although Cancun became a popular tourist destination relatively recently, in 1968, it was once the home of the ancient Maya.
The ancient Maya made significant contributions to culture and science. They invented the concept of 0 in mathematics, as well as calendric and writing systems. They were expert astronomers and gifted engineers and made important discoveries in several areas including science. On March 20th, 2020, come to witness the spring equinox at Chichén Itzá and see for yourself the astounding genius of the Mayans and how they integrated astronomy with architecture.
The Maya used astronomy to help them map the different paths and seasonal cycles of the sun, which held great significance for the harvests. There are two equinoxes (spring and fall) and two solstices (summer and winter) that officially mark the start of a new season. The spring equinox marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere while the fall equinox signals the start of fall in the Southern Hemisphere. The equinox occurs when the position of the sun is exactly over the equator, which makes the hours of daylight and darkness equal (12 hours each) almost all over the world.
Chichen Itzá was an ancient Maya city that is now an archeological site. El Castillo (The Castle) is the main pyramid at the site (also called the Temple of Kukulcan). The stepped pyramid is the temple of the Serpent god worshipped by the Mayans as the god of rejuvenation. El Castillo has 365 steps, one for each day of the year, and is a physical representation of the calendar.
According to legend, Kukulcan returns to earth and visits the pyramid twice a year during the spring and fall equinox to provide blessings to his worshippers. Whether this is true or not, the pyramid was expertly constructed to be completely aligned with the sun’s rays during equinox and as the sun goes down, it creates a phenomenal light and shadows show known as the “Descent of Kukulcan”. When the sun casts its rays on the pyramid, the triangular shadows create the illusion that a giant snake is slithering downwards, inching its way down to the base of the pyramid and connecting with the head of the snake before completely disappearing. When the ancient Maya saw the serpent’s descent, it told them that it was time to plant the crops in spring and also when to harvest in winter.
Take an incredible journey back to the Maya civilization and see the extraordinary phenomenon of Kukulcan’s descent during spring equinox 2020. We guarantee that you will not be disappointed!