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Saturday, January 22, 2022

The great Kukulkán prepares for his descent, but no one will be there to see him

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
The Pyramid of Kukulcán in Chichén Itzá as seen from behind the Temple of Venus, also featuring stone sculptures of Kukulcán, the divine feathered serpent. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Kukulkán is ready for its closeup, but there will not be anyone at Chichén Itzá to greet him. 

During the spring equinox and fall solstice, the sun strikes the northwest corner of the temple, creating the illusion of the descent of the feathered serpent in shadow form.

This spectacle routinely attracts thousands of visitors, including new-age practitioners who believe the event has some kind of cosmic significance.

But just as was the case during the last spring equinox, Chichén Itzá closed for three days as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. The famed archaeological site is scheduled to reopen its doors on Sept. 23. 

Earlier: The small but beautiful ancient city of Chicanná

Another popular archaeological site to observe the arrival of fall is Dzibilchaltún, where the sun appears directly through the main door of La Casa de la Siete Muñecas or the House of the Seven Dolls.

La Casa de la Siete Muñecas or the House of the Seven Dolls seen during the 2011 spring equinox. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

But this site will also be closed to the public as the result of a blockade set up by locals of the nearby town of Chablekal who argue that the land the archaeological site sits upon belongs to them. 

It had been previously reported that small numbers of tourists would be allowed into Chichén Itzá to view the phenomena — however, it would appear that a disagreement regarding the safety between the INAH and CULTUR got in the way.

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