4 The Equinox at Chichén Itzá
At the ancient Maya city of Chichén Itzá, during the spring and fall equinoxes, the great pyramid of Kukulcán serves as a visual symbol of the day and night as the sun of the late afternoon creates the illusion of a snake creeping slowly down the northern staircase. Each year tourists visit the site at the equinoxes in appreciation of Maya achievements in astronomy and their obsession with time and cycles of the heavens.
These pages explain the history of the city, the site, and the pyramid, and describe the appearance of the pyramid on the equinox. Classroom activities and traditional recipes follow.