The Mayan Winter Solstice occurred last week, as it always does around December 21 of each year. The sun is situated at the furthest point from the Earth in the Northern Hemisphere on that day which was reverently observed by the ancient Maya to mark “a new cycle of time.” The lighting of incense and offering up of prayers for a fruitful spring season ahead is still a tradition observed today.
At the ruins of Chichen Itza on this day the incredible sight of the sun seemingly climbs up the edge of the towering El Castillo temple as it rises into the sky to amaze onlookers. Bright sunshine radiates upon the southern and western sides of the temple while the northern and eastern sides remain hidden in complete darkness.
The winter solstice and the fall equinox are important dates in Beverly and Steve Smirnis’s Tulum series. (c) Steve and Beverly Smirnis, 2021.