Spring EquinoxMarch 9, 2021
The spring equinox marks the end of the cold winter months and the beginning of spring, the magical revival of colorful landscapes all around.
In Mexican culture, the spring equinox has been of crucial significance for centuries. It’s the time of renewal, rebirth, and fertility.
Spring Equinox Celebrations Around Mexico
During the spring equinox, a variety of celebrations occur throughout Mexico. People travel to archeological sites located all over the country to participate in the spring welcoming celebrations.
Chichen Itza is perhaps the most well-known example of Mexican historical architecture celebrating the spring equinox.
The Mayans, like many historic cultures, looked up to the skies to try to understand the world they lived in. They studied the passing of the sun and stars and created calendars that helped them to keep track of natural events and take care of their agriculture cycle.
The legendary Mayan city of Chichen Itza is located between Merida and Cancun. In 1998 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in 2007 it was declared one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
Locals and tourists gather around the 79-foot-tall Kukulkan Pyramid, also called El Castillo (the Castle) on the day of the spring equinox. The Mayas constructed this pyramid in a way that every year the shadow of the sun gives the illusion of a diamond-shaped serpent coming down the steps.
El Templo Mayor (The Great Temple)
Located in the heart of Mexico City, the great temple is the place, according to legend, where the gods told the Aztecs to establish the capital of the Mexican Empire, Tenochtitlan. El Templo Mayor was the center of religious and social activity in the pre-Hispanic period.
To the Aztecs, the arrival of the spring equinox was full of religious sentiment mixed with symbolism.
The temple was dedicated in honor of two gods. The god Huitzilopochtli whose name means “Hummingbird on the Left/South” was the deity of war, sun, and human sacrifice. The Aztecs believed that the south was the left side of the world. The god Tlaloc whose name means “He Who Makes Things Sprout” was the god of rain, water, lightning, and agriculture.
The temple had two towers, one for each god. On the day of the spring equinox when the sun rose, its rays shone exactly between the two towers in a breathtaking spectacle to be enjoyed by everyone present.
Teotihuacan (The Place Where The Gods Were Created)
Considered a holy city, this impressive settlement is located about 30 miles north of Mexico City. Many people travel here the day of the spring equinox to experience the energy that emanates from this site. They dress in white with a red accessory like a scarf. They dance, burn incense, and chant. Visitors climb the 360 steps towards the top of the Pyramid of the Sun between 9 am and 1 pm. At the top, with outstretched arms, they greet the spring equinox and ask the gods for energy and health. Some may get there early and observe the sun rising over the Apan Mountains, an astonishing view.
Guachimontes (Place of Gourds)
This Pre-Columbian archaeological site is located in the northern part of the state of Jalisco, in the town of Teuchitlán. This place has a very particular architecture composed of conical step-structures that resemble round pyramids. You will find there two ceremonial areas, ancient house mounds, terraced hillsides, one major and minor plaza, and an area designated for ball games. Here during the time of the spring equinox, a variety of activities take place.
Cerro de la Mesa Redonda (The Round Table Hill)
This is not an archeological site, but it is a very good location to receive the spring equinox. Located at the Lagos de Moreno valley in the state of Jalisco, at 6,824 feet above sea level, it has an impressive view. This place got its name because at the top it looks like a round table.
The Cerro de la Mesa Redonda is home to two species of cactus endemic to the region and animals like rabbits, boars, and deer. Hiking trails are organized for the spring equinox day. It is also interesting to note that some visitors claim to have observed extraterrestrial life here.
El Tajin (Bolt of Lightning / Thunder)
Located in the municipality of Papantla in the state of Veracruz, this archeological site has numerous temples, ball courts, palaces, pyramids, and decorative niches.
In 1992 it was named a World Heritage by UNESCO because of its architecture and cultural significance. It has become one of the most visited tourist sites in Veracruz; in 2017, it attracted 386,406 visitors.
Although this site does not have a prime view of the spring equinox compared to other sites. It is worth visiting, as it happens at the same time as the Cumbre Tajin Festival, a colorful celebration, full of timeless traditions like the Voladores (flying men).
Besides visiting archeological sites in Mexico the spring equinox is also celebrated with ancient rituals still alive today, such as Limpias. Getting a “limpia” is a ritual that aims to purify our spirit. A shaman performs the ceremony using flowers, herbs, oils, rocks, incense, candles, water, together with music and singing. This way you are supposed to get rid of all bad energies and be ready to receive only good vibes in the new life cycle.
Come and celebrate this spring equinox at Conrad Punta Mita in Mexico, and be a part of Mexican tradition. Come and experience the authentic Mexico you’ve never seen. Celebrate the history, savor the luxury at Conrad.