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Astrological Celebrations

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Snakes on a Pyramid

The Mayans were really into astronomy. The equinox, the days in March and September where night and day are of equal length, has always been a huge celebration. The most important Mayan architecture was designed to cast shadows in alignment with the sun movements on these days. You can see the result of their head-spinning astrological calculations by heading to Chichen Itza on September 22nd for the equinox.

Dedicated to the snake God, Kukulcán, the shadows on the steps of the giant Chichen Itza pyramid create the image of a snake slithering as the sun moves across the sky. Crowds gather at the pyramid out of respect and to catch this twice annual spectacle. A number of tour operators organize trips to the area or, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, it’s an easy three-hour drive.