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March Equinox a Big Event in Tehuacalco

By: Patrick Ellis | Real Acapulco News - 15 March, 2011

(Tehuacalco, AN 15 March) The Yope were indigenous people in Guerrerro who were never dominated by the Mexica culture around them. Like their Aztecan and Mayan neighbors, they developed an advanced understanding of astronomy and the passage of time. The Spring equinox was especially meaningful for them. In Tehuacalco, a small town in Guerrero, between Acapulco and Chilpancingo, more than 3,000 people are expected to gather at the ancient ruins there to mark the annual event. The place is thought to have been called “Yopitzingo” by its residents more than 1,000 years ago.

The archeological zone will be open to the public, something not permitted at any other time. The equinox will occur around 07:30 local time. Chilpancingo’s city government, in cooperation with the National Institute of Archeology and History (INAH), will provide additional security in the area for the whole weekend. Because March 21 is also an official holiday, in celebration of the birthday of Benito Juárez, the weekend will extend into Monday.

Tradition has it that those who visit the archeological site on March 21, dressed all in white, will absorb “the positive energy” that comes to or from the area on this mystical day. The site is nestled in the mountains, surrounded by four large ridges, each one pointing to one of the four principal directions. The pyramids there were oriented towards mount “La Comperta ,” where the sun rises. Another structure, “El Palacio,” is about 80 meters long at the base. There is a sun dial in the rear that the ancients used for detecting the solar equinox, the signal to start planting in the new year. The community flourished between 400 and 1100 AD and occupied around 200 acres. Eighteen structures have been uncovered, 57 caves in the mountains, and numerous petroglyphs.

Transportation from Chilpancingo will be provided by the Department of Family Services (DIF), and the departure will be from the ramp at City Hall at 6:00 am on Monday, March 21. Two traditional ceremonies will be celebrated: one at 7:30 for the equinox itself, and one at noon that involves ancestral rituals for peace and harmony among the world’s peoples. (No pets or food or drinks will be allowed inside the protected areas.)

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