Spring is a wonderful season. The weather gets warmer, flowers begin to bloom, our moods get brighter… Naturally, people around the world have developed their own customary ways of celebrating springtime. Different cultures get into the spirit of spring in various ways, from eating specific foods to gathering at special sites to playing certain games. Check out these festive spring traditions and get ready to celebrate!
Mexico: The Feathered Serpent
Annually, on the vernal equinox (March 20), an amazing phenomenon takes place at Chichén Itza, Mexico’s world-famous archaeological site. The main building at the ancient city is known as El Castillo (“The Castle”), and on March 20 the afternoon sun appears to hit its western side in a very peculiar way. Its huge, 91-step staircases are flanked by sculptures of feathered serpents. The ancient Maya built this temple, actually called the Temple of Kukulcán, in honor of their serpent deity. When the sun hits the staircase, the light forms seven triangles, and the resulting shadows resemble a 120-foot snake crawling down the side of the temple. This unique celestial occurrence attracts thousands of spectators to Chichén Itza each year. Scientists believe that the construction of the temple shows how masterful the Maya were at architecture and design.