An equinox occurs twice a year (around March 20th and September 22nd), when the sun, in its orbit around the earth, passes directly over the Earth’s equator making the length of the daylight and evening hours equal. Most of us refer to these dates as the First Day of Spring or the Last Day of Summer. Not a normal, celebrated day for people in the U.S. But it is in Mexico.
In September of 2011 my husband and I took our first vacation to the Riviera Maya. Wanting to be sure and see ‘Mexico’ we had pre-booked an excursion to Chichen Itza – an ancient Mayan City and archaeological site on the Yucatan Peninsula. The main pyramid is known in Mayan as “El Castillo” or the castle and since July of 2007 has been listed as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. On the day before our excursion, we were contacted at the hotel and advised Amstar (our tour guide) wanted to move our date up 1 day so that we could take advantage of the Summer Solstice Celebration. We agreed but did not fully understand the significance of this occurrence to the Mayan people. We quickly found out this is huge there. Thousands of people were there that day. After a guided tour of the ruins everyone gathers in the center of the city to witness a phenomenon of light and shadow on the steps of El Castillo pyramid. The shadow of the ‘plumed serpent’ of light descending the steps is said to be the ancient ‘serpent’, Kukulkan, making his way to the well of sacrifice nearby. How does this work? As the sun passes over, seven isosceles triangles are formed and compose the body of the 37 yard-long serpent that creeps downward until it joins the serpent’s head carved in stone at the bottom of the stairway. Don’t worry… there was and is no sacrifice conducted… today. This could not always have been said. Definitely a wonder to be seen and experienced.
A normal person would think just being at a beautiful resort with unlimited food, drink, entertainment, incredible beaches…non-stop luxury would be enough of an amazing vacation. Then all us ‘normal people’ would be wrong. While you are on your amazing vacation there are some pretty amazing excursions that are a must, depending on where you are. Chichen Itza is rich in it’s history and grandeur. You won’t be disappointed if you include this in your vacation.
Once you have your trip booked, ask your agent what there is to do where you’re going. Each of our agents have either been there or know where to send you to guarantee a wonderful time.