March festivals (part 3)
The March festivals are that much closer today so we’ll continue our look into where and what you can expect to visit during the first month of spring.
The Spring Equinox – Chichen Itza, Mexico
Ancient and mystical history buffs will surely want to visit the ruined temple city of Chicen Itza, where the creators of the step pyramid there designed it in such a way that during the vernal equinox, the morning and afternoon sun creates a light-and-shadow illusion of a serpent ascending or descending the side of the staircase.
We should note that on this day the site is, rather obviously mobbed by people, but in the week that precedes and follows the equinox, the illusion is almost as good and the crowds considerably less mobby.
There’s much more to the site at Chichen Itza, so take your time to visit the ruins in detail as well as the surrounding sites.
Hanami – throughout Japan
Cherry blossoms are a big thing in Japan and Japanese culture in general, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they have a festival to celebrate their appearance.
The viewing of cherry blossoms is a major event in Japan, so big in fact that the national news services will display maps of the progress of the blossoming cherry trees.
Hanami is a period of time in which the rather reserved Japanese throw all that to the wind and decide to party, with picnic parties among the blooming trees, both during the day and during the evening. This period of time can be enjoyed anywhere in the country where there are cherry trees, however there are a couple of places that have become favorites.
Tokyo for instance, has about a thousand flowering cherry trees, but Kyoto is also a great place to visit during this period.