Summer Solstice, “Super Moon” Celebrated at Hotel Xixim, a Nature and Yoga Retreat Resort in Yucatan
Throughout Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, an area filled with ancient Mayan temples, ruins, and ethnic traditions, this past week’s summer solstice of 2013 took on a different significance with the simultaneous occurrence of the "Super Moon." At Hotel Xixim (http://www.hotelxixim.com), a Mayan style retreat resort located on the white sand beaches of the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, guests and employees alike arose before dawn to view the celestial show.
Celestun, Yucatan (PRWEB) July 02, 2013
Summer solstice (June 21) in Mayan Yucatan, Mexico, has several meanings. For the ancient Maya, it was the beginning of a cycle of fertility, rain, and cultivation. For the Spaniards who settled the area, and for present-day Yucatecans, it also means the annual festival of the “Noche de San Juan Bautista” (St. John the Baptist) on June 23, signifying purification and renewed energy through bonfires and bathing in the sea. In this year 2013, most of those staying at Hotel Xixim, in western Yucatan’s largest nature reserve, while celebrating the solstice, also arose at 4:00am on June 23 to view the "Super Moon." Until just after dawn, the moon appeared to be almost 15% larger than normal, a spectacular viewing experience captured in photos by Sergio Vazquez, the hotel’s operations manager.
According to Eddie Salazar Gamboa, a well-known scientist and archaeoastronomy investigator from the Insituto Tecnologico de Merida, the "Super Moon," or plenilunio, only occurs every 13 months and 18 days, and it is rare that it coincides with the summer solstice. In 2007, Mr. Salazar Gamboa officially verified the ancient Mayan expertise in aligning structures with the sunrises and sunsets of the solstices and equinoxes, particularly at the world-famous site of Chichen Itza. He has recently discovered that the Maya also aligned certain architectural features with the movements of the moon. "The Maya positioned their temples and other important buildings so that the sun and the moon create patterns at the solstices and equinoxes, thus marking the change of cycles or seasons for all," he stated recently at a gathering in Merida. Guests at Hotel Xixim can appreciate these visual phenomena at the Mayan temples of nearby Oxkintok and Dzibilchaltun, via excursions offered by the hotel.
The Maya of Yucatan were astronomers and mathematicians and had calculated the exact positions of the sun, moon, planets and stars in relation to the earth. These calculations include the two solstices of summer and winter and the two equinoxes of spring and fall. Studies of the archaeoastronomy of the Maya show that they interpreted these celestial occurrences in relationship to agricultural, political and social life. For the Maya, the cycles of sowing seeds in the spring, cultivating the fertile crops in the summer, harvesting in the fall, and storing produce and seeds in the winter paralleled the cycles of their lives and even their inner selves. To the Maya, the solstices and equinoxes represented an end of one cycle and the beginning of a new one. Each season or cycle represented hope, growth and fertility, prosperity and appreciation, and then quiet preparation for a new stage in life to come – in the next year or in the next life.
According to the long count of the Mayan calendar and Mayan creation mythology, December 21, 2012 signified the end of a world age of 13 b’ak’tuns (5,125 years and 133 days). The year 2013 is celebrated now in Mayan Yucatan as a new beginning, a new era, when man and nature will be in harmony.
About Hotel Xixim
In both 2012 and 2013, Hotel Xixim received the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, awarded for consistently outstanding traveler reviews to only ten percent of accommodations listed on this review site. The editors of Fodor’s, a leading name in travel guides for over 75 years, also selected Hotel Xixim for their "2012 Fodor’s Choice" award, given to only the top 15% of their listed properties world-wide.
Hotel Xixim, located in the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, just one hour west of Merida, expanded in 2010 to 32 individual beachside Mayan bungalows with porches and hammocks, a new Wellness Center with SPA treatment bungalows and a 43 foot diameter yoga practice pavilion, a juice therapy bungalow, traditional gym, new tree top ocean view bar and library area, a larger restaurant with Mayan-Mexican fusion and vegetarian menus, new outdoor areas for yoga and meditation practice, and a second swimming pool in the Wellness Center. Visit http://www.hotelxixim.com. For assistance in planning a yoga group retreat or family reunion/event, inquire at groups(at)hotelxixim(dot)com.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/yogainmexico/summersolsticesupermoon/prweb10888064.htm