The Shadow and the Serpent – Fall Equinox at El Castillo Pyramid, Chichen Itza, Sept 22

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Named  one  of  the  new  Seven  Wonders  of  the  World,  and  a  World  Heritage  Site  by UNESCO,  Chichen  Itza  is  truly  an  extraordinary  place to visit any time of year, but especially during the Fall Equinox.

On  September  22,  2012,  thousands  will  visit  this  ancient  Mayan  ruin  site to witness a mysterious play of light on stone, as the sun makes a shadow  in  the  shape  of  a  serpent  on  the  side  of  the  stairs  of  the  “El Castillo”  pyramid,  also  known  as  Kukulcan,  in  Chichen  Itza.  The  ser­pent shadow, which used to be the sign for the Mayas to start planting corn,  begins  to  appear  around  4  p.m.  during  the  equinox  on  the  north side  of  the  pyramid  and  continues  for  an  hour.  El  Castillo,  which stands  105  feet  high  with  staircases  climbing  its  four  faces,  was  built with  such  mathematical  precision  and  aligned  to  catch  the  rays  of  the setting sun during the equinoxes.

Approximately 20,000  people are expected  to  attend  this  year’s  event and many will dress in white, which is said to absorb the healing energy  of  the  equinox.  This  year  is  one  of  the  most  historically  significant times to visit during the Fall Equinox, as 2012 closes out the tradition­al Mayan calendar and welcomes a new era.

mayan logo

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Susie Albin-Najera
Susie Albin-Najera is the creator and editor of The Mexico Report, an award winning travel blog showcasing news, deals and resources for the modern traveler. Najera is a writer, author, travel blogger, marketing and public relations specialist and producer. Najera serves on the host committee for Maestro Cares, founded by singer Marc Anthony and producer Henry Cardenas; and on the advisory board for Corazon de Vida, providing aid to children in Mexico. She is also the creator of 'The Real Heroes of Mexico' showcasing community heroes in Mexico and producer of Latino Thought Makers. Najera has been recognized by the Mexican Consulate and Mexico Tourism Board for fostering positive relations between countries and her dedication to showcasing Mexico as a premiere destination. She can be reached at

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