Sat, Mar 23, 2019 - Page 7 News List

Tourists celebrate spring at pyramids in Mexico


People surround the Kukulcan Pyramid as a shaman performs a ritual at the Mayan archeological site of Chichen Itza in Mexico on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Thousands of people dressed in white on Thursday flocked to Mexico’s ancient pyramids, seeking to soak up the rays of the spring equinox sun.

The equinox held special significance for many of Mexico’s pre-Columbian people, who built their architecture around it in some cases.

Famous examples include the Mayan pyramid of Kukulkan in the ancient city of Chichen Itza, where at the moment of the equinox, the sun’s rays generate a shadow of seven triangles that look like a serpent descending the stairs.

Also on the Yucatan Peninsula, at the Temple of the Seven Dolls in Dzibilchaltun, the sun aligns precisely with a pair of east and west-facing doors at this time each year, illuminating the structure with a burst of light.

Dressed in traditional indigenous garb, dancers performed ceremonies at these and other sites, including the nearly 2,000-year-old sun pyramid of Teotihuacan, near Mexico City.

Such ancient customs have mingled with new age spirituality to draw white-clad visitors from around the world.

Others are simply seeking the perfect selfie atop the stunning pyramids.

“‘Teotihuacan’ means ‘the place where men become gods,’ so we’re here to steal a little bit of its energy,” said Alfonso Martinez, 53, a Mexican man who had traveled from the eastern state of Veracruz.

Silvia Torres, 71, said she was there because “it fills me with energy, fills me with strength, fills me with power, fills me with wisdom.”

“As human beings, we are energy, and I agree that we can charge ourselves with energy,” said Erick Gonzalez, a 37-year-old nurse.

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