Stone Glyph Equinox at Chichen Itza        (Kulkulkan's Pyramid)         Beach Home rentals on Soliman Bay Tulum Mexico the Yucatan
By Becky Brandborg


Kulkulkan's Pyramid El Castillo during equinox Chichen Itza Mexico the Yucatan rovine Mayan Messico
Architectural and astrological marvel that it is, one of the most exciting times to see the Castle or Castillo at Chichen Itza is during the Autumnal and Vernal (Fall and Spring) Equinoxes.

After years of study and investigation, Mexican researcher Luis Arochi recognized that the Kukulkan’s Pyramid was closely related to the equinoxes. The Mayans had been brilliant astronomers and mathematicians. This is seen in many of the structures that are left at Chichen Itza. But the engineering of the central Pyramid is so exact that with the arrival of either equinox, seven triangles of sunlight are projected down the north face staircase. As you can see in the photo, when you add the carving of the serpent's head at the base of the stairway it gives the illusion that the snake is dropping from the sky, symbolizing (some say) the return of fertility to the earth.

This is a time of great celebration at Chichen Itza and the other Mayan ruins throughout the Yucatan. If you do not enjoy crowds this is not the time to view the ruins. Approximately 25,000 visitors attend the celebration on the mall. It is however worth doing just once. The shadow of the serpent is also visible two days before and two days after the equinox.

Head of a serpent Chichen Itza Mexico the Yucatan rovine Mayan Messico In addition to this important event the Castillo or Pyramid is thought to have been used as a calendar. Being centrally located in the main square, flags could have been placed on the steps representing the day. When you add the 91 steps on each of the four sides together you come up with 364 days the base of the crowning temple platform being the 365th day. In this manner, anyone walking through the mall would know at a glance the “date”.

All in all the El Castillo or Kukulkan’s Pyramid is without a doubt one of the most impressive monuments at Chichen Itza. And during the Equinox it puts on an impressive show.


Becky Brandborg


References:
Chichen Itza A Practical Guide and Photo Album by Xavier Alducin
The Mysteries of Chichen Itza by Alberto Rivera A.

 


Back To Top
       Back To Feature Articles

Mexico - Mexican Caribbean Vacation Rentals Network - Yucatan