45,000 Expected at Chichen to See Equinox

March 21st, 2008 by ejalbright

Castillo
El Castillo, silhouetted by the sun during a spring equinox.

Mexican authorities expect some 45,000 visitors at Chichen Itzá to see Kukulcan, the feathered serpent, descend the pyramid, El Castillo at around 4:30 p.m. today.

What is unclear from news accounts is whether the 45,000 will be showing up on one day (today, March 21), or over the course of the equinox season (March 19-23), or today but across all the archaeological zones across Mexico. Regardless, the estimate is 15,000 more than the number that came last year. The difference is that between last year and this year, Chichen Itza was named one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

However, weather forecasts are predicting clouds and rain, so visitors may have to wait until tomorrow before the sky clears enough so that the sun will project the shadow of the feathered serpent upon the north balustrade of El Castillo.

Good weather or bad, the Mexican Ministry of Public Security will have at Chichén Itzá 100 officers, 20 ambulances and a phalanx of firefighters, divers (at the cenote) and paramedics. They will be joined by 100 youth corps scouts, staff from Yucatan Health Services, and the guides and other staff that normally works the archaeological zone. The federal police will be out in force on the roads.

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