Across time, world have marked the changes that seasons—sometimes in dramatic ways! below are six amazing ancient sites aligned v the solstices and equinoxes.

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Did you know that the equinoxes and also solstices happen at the same moment around the world? even though we all have various time zones, this is an huge event, based upon our planet’s orbit around the Sun and tilt on its axis.

Our ancestors lived amidst nature an ext than most of us perform today. They observed the universe, marveling in its rhythms. They used the Sun and also the Moon as a kind of calendar, tracking the Sun’s path throughout the sky. Right here are some examples of the old sites and monuments the were built to align through the solstices or equinoxes.

Our ancestors developed the very first observatories to monitor the sun’s progress.

1. Stonehenge (England)


Every year on the summer solstice, thousands of human being travel come Wiltshire, England, to Stonehenge, a location with substantial stones the were i ordered it in a circle roughly 3000 B.C. The huge monument marks the relation between the Sun and the seasons.

On the dawning of the summer solstice, the sunlight rises directly over the hoe Stone—a mysterious prehistoric monument whose origins, relying on interpretation, were as an ancient burial ground, one astrological observatory, also a superordinary phenomenon. See photos and also historical details top top the Stonehenge internet site.

2. Machu Picchu (Peru)

Machu Picchu is the transcendent City the the Incas. This historical site is perched atop a mountain overlooking the Urubamba valley in Peru.



There is a giant rock at the height of this sacred mountain called Intihuatana, which way “the location when the sun gets tied.” Amazingly, the stone is perfectly positioned so that each corner sits in ~ the four cardinal points (north, south, east, and west), and at an edge of about 13 degrees northward.


Usually, the stone casts a shadow throughout the day, as any kind of other structure would. However, at exactly noon ~ above the day of the spring or fall equinox, the Sun’s shadow disappears! Therefore, the stone is a specific indicator of the day of the two equinoxes.

3. Chichen Itza (Mexico)


At what is currently Chichen Itza (“CHEE-chen-EET-sa”), Mexico, Mayans developed a vast pyramid roughly the year A.D. 1000. The pat of the Sun’s irradiate on it signals the beginning of the seasons.

On the spring equinox, for example, the light pattern looks like a snake. Mayans referred to as this day “the return that the sunlight serpent.” See much more photos that this significant pyramid in ~ the Chichen Itza Web site.

4. Chaco Canyon (New Mexico, USA)


In today’s Chaco Canyon, new Mexico, the genealogical Puebloan people, who were skilled sky watchers, carved spiral designs right into rock to track the seasons and also record the passage of time.

In this canyon is a petroglyph dubbed the sun Dagger because of the method the Sun’s wedge-shape beams strike the in midday throughout the summer and winter solstices. View virtual movies of the sun Dagger and other beautiful sites.

5. Newgrange (Ireland)


Around 3200 B.C., old people in Ireland built a large mound the dirt and surrounded it v stones. Today, the knoll is called Newgrange.

For 5 days around the winter solstice, a beam of sunshine illuminates a small room inside the mound for 17 minute at dawn. The room holds just twenty world at a time.

Every year, thousands go into a lottery in hope of being among the hundred people enabled to enter. See much more photos of Newgrange here.

6. The great Sphinx and also Pyramid of Khafre (Egypt)


The famed pyramids and Sphinx of old Egypt also have their time in the Sun, for this reason to speak.

On the spring or loss equinoxes, a strange phenomenon occurs. If girlfriend stand directly in prior of the Sphinx (facing it) at sunset top top the date of one of two people equinox, together the sunlight nears the horizon, you’ll watch it settle directly top top the Sphinx’s best shoulder. In ~ this angle, the Sun additionally sits in ~ the southern corner that the Pyramid of Khafre, located behind the Sphinx.

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Celebrate the Seasons!

Mark the equinoxes and solstices! view our seasons web page with dates for the begin of spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Have you traveled to these ancient sites? monitor the links above to visit virtually. And tell us exactly how you memory the seasons!