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The Snake of Kukulcan Pyramid – Celebration of the Vernal Equinox

by Aleasha Stephens on March 19, 2010

Chichen Itza, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mayan Ruins

Outlying the Riviera Maya area about two and a half hours outside of Cancun, Mexico lies the ancient Mayan city Chichén Itzá. Within these ruins stands Kukulcan pyramid, one of the most famous pyramids in the Chichén Itzá Mayan ruins. Mayan astronomy was far ahead of its time when they built the Kukulcan pyramid with the Sun, Moon, Stars and equinoxes specifically in mind. Every March 20th and 21st and Dec. 20th and 21st the sun rises in the sky and hits the edges of the pyramid’s steps to cast the shadow of a giant feathered snake that slithers down the steps to reconnect with its disembodied head at the bottom of the pyramid.

This snake is representative of an ancient Mayan legend. The story says the Mayan king – Kukulcan (also called Quetzalcoatl the “feathered serpent”) arrived to rule Chichén Itzá on a bed of snakes in the 10th century. Kukulcan might have been mortal but his spirit lives on to descend and visit his old kingdom every Spring and Winter equinox.

This Saturday and Sunday thousands of people will gather around the Kukulcan pyramid to witness this mysterious Mayan tradition for themselves. Tickets to the event average at $69 USD but increase in price the longer you wait. You won’t believe it until you see it so contact dtraveller to reserve seats to see the ancient snake deity descent for yourself!

Aleasha is the Director of Marketing at All About Mexico. She runs our Facebook & Twitter accounts. Follow/Fan us please! You can also follow Aleasha on her personal twitter - @allaboutaleash
Aleasha Stephens
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  • Art Radmore

    Very informative. Thank you.

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  • Jeff Hicks

    Very well written…One thing you may wish to fix is that the pyramid shows the outline of Kukulcan (the serpent-snake) on the Equinoxes…the first one in March and the second one September 22nd or 23rd.

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