Mayan archeology, in southeastern Mexico, will meet this week its annual appointment, for about fifty years, with archeology and astronomy with the descent of the god Kukulkán on the steps of Chichen Itza Castle, which marks the beginning of the spring in the northern hemisphere.
The phenomenon of light and shadow that is recorded in the north arch of the castle of the Mexican ruins of Chichén Itzá symbolizes the descent of Kukulkán, the Mayan god who fertilizes the land.
The spread of the phenomenon of the Plumed Serpent has one of its antecedents in the seventies thanks to the article called "A Hierophany in Chichén Itzá" by the French researcher Jacques Rivard, published in the magazine Katunoob in 1971, explained on Wednesday to Efe the Mexican archaeologist Alfredo Barrera Rubio."But it did not reach the popular level until the anthropologist Luis Arochi announced the phenomenon (in 1974)," added the researcher from the Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in the southeastern state of Yucatan.
Barrera Rubio, winner of the 2015 Yuri Knorosov Medal in Mérida, explained that after the announcement "Arochi made a series of books to publicize the phenomenon of light and shadow and from there people began to flow to enjoy the descent of Kukulkán every 21 March, which coincides with the anniversary of the Benemérito de las Américas, Benito Juárez, and the spring equinox ".
The descent of Kukulkán, considered as a hierophany, that is, an act of manifestation of the sacred, "causes interest in the world because of the symbolism in the calendar that is registered in the Chichén Itzá Castle", which since 2007 was designated an of the Seven Wonders of the modern world.
However, the writer and researcher pointed out that visitors can observe the phenomenon two days before and two after the spring equinox, that this 2019 will be on March 20.
"To build the Chichén Castle, like other buildings of the Mayan culture, the pre-Hispanic architects took into account the position of the stars," said the researcher attached to the Archeology Section of the INAH-Yucatán Center.
On the descent of Kukulkán in the equinox, which according to the Mayan priests arrives to fertilize the Earth, "is one of the important dates in the Mesoamerican calendar, as well as May 3, which means the beginning of the rainy season".
The researcher reported that not only in the archaeological zone of Chichén Itzá or Dzibilchaltún phenomena of light and shadow are recorded since there are other similar phenomena in places" like Uxmal, El Palomar, Tulum, Oxkintok and some more of the Puuc Route".On the other hand, the director of the Board of the Cultural and Tourism Units of Yucatan, Mauricio Díaz Montalvo, informed Efe that in coordination with the INAH they will implement surveillance and logistics operations to provide service to the world's visitors who come annually to witness archaeoastronomy phenomena in this region of Mexico.
"This year we expect 15,000 to 18,000 visitors from the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America who will arrive to see the descent of Kukulkán, attracted by the phenomenon of light and shade and the intensity of its history, since the ancient Mayans worshiped the deity in the form of a snake."
Diaz Montalvo said that this number of visitors will represent 5% more than in 2018.
If Kukulkán falls, that is to say, if the seven isosceles triangles are formed in the side of the Castle that resembles the body of a snake, "good harvests are predicted, but otherwise, the Mayans believed that they would have problems with agriculture."