Mexico cancels the equinox ceremony in Chichen Itzá due to the coronavirus
The authorities of the state of Yucatan, in the southeast of Mexico, announced this Sunday the closure of the Mayan archaeological zone of Chichen Itzá and the cancellation of the famous ceremony of the spring equinox due to the global crisis of the coronavirus.
"In this week prior to the equinox, each year we receive the visit of more than 50,000 visitors from different countries. I have instructed to arrange what is necessary to suspend activities and enter the archaeological sites of Chichén Itzá and Dzibilchaltún on the 20th, March 21 and 22 ", informed the Governor of Yucatan, Mauricio Vila.
In a video recorded from his office and broadcast on social networks, the Yucatecan governor said that the objective of this measure is "to further increase the protection and health of the entire population."
According to Vila, this "will significantly reduce the chances of contagion" in a state that has close to two million inhabitants in the face of the coronavirus crisis, which so far has infected 53 people in Mexico.
Every March 21 for 50 years Chichen Itzá has hosted thousands of visitors to observe the phenomenon of light and shadow caused by the equinox and which looks like a snake descending the steps of the castle.
This phenomenon symbolizes the descent of Kukulcán, the Mayan god who fertilizes the earth, in the Chichen Itzá area, located 120 kilometers from the Mexican city of Mérida and considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
The diffusion of the phenomenon of the descent of Kukulkán has one of its antecedents in the seventies thanks to the article called "A hierophany in Chichen Itza" by the French researcher Jacques Rivard, published in the magazine Katunoob in 1971.
In his case, Dzibilchaltún, 27 kilometers north of Mérida, exhibits in his Temple of the Seven Dolls the solar phenomenon at dawn on the 21st.
According to the official report of 7:00 p.m. this Sunday (01:00 GMT on Monday), in Mexico there are 53 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 12 more than 41 on Saturday, and 176 suspected cases.
While countries such as Colombia or Argentina have announced the closure of their borders due to the Wuhan coronavirus crisis, the Government of Mexico has not yet adopted drastic measures beyond announcing the closure of schools on March 20 and the suspension of events with more than 5,000 people.
The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, continued his tour of the southern state of Guerrero, on the Pacific coast, this Sunday, holding rallies and hugging with crowds despite the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and criticism for his inaction. facing this crisis.