The second Sacred Mayan Crossing will take place In Xcaret from May 30th to June 1st this year. It is a recreation of the ancient Mayan ritual pilgrimage undertaken by the original inhabitants of Yucatán to Polé.
Thirty 26-foot canoes, each with a crew of four to six, will participate in the event. The challenge for them is to paddle across the Channel of Cozumel from Polé –present-day Xcaret– to the island of Cuzamil (Cozumel) and to return later to Xamanhá –now known as Playa del Carmen.
First the canoes set out from Pole (Xcaret) to Cuzamil (Cozumel) and when they arrive they will worship the goddess IxChel . Once in Cozumel offerings will be made to the goddess Ix Chel who will send a message to the inhabitants of the Mayan lands. The canoes will then return to the mainland, bringing with them the goddess’s omens of good fortune which will be revealed to all those who are in Playa del Carmen to hear them.
This year, the celebration will begin at 11:00 p.m. on May 30th with a pilgrimage to Xcaret. During the course of the night guests will participate in rituals and supplications to the goddess IxChel as they wait for the first rays of dawn when they will send the canoes off to Cozumel.
For this special occasion, guests will not be mere spectators, but will take part in ceremonies and rituals in preparation for the crossing. The journey was traditionally undertaken to pray to the goddess and ask for:
FERTILITY OF THE EARTH · Abundant fruit, bountiful harvests, good fishing and exuberant surroundings
GOOD WEATHER · A mild climate, favorable winds, enough rain, the right temperatures for growth
HEALTH · Harmony of body, mind and spirit
CONTINUITY OF LIFE · Peace and harmony among species, according to the natural order of the planet
The Sacred Mayan Crossing renews for us the wealth of history and the cultural legacy of the Mayan past from the 11th to the 16th centuries. The courage and daring of these ancient navigators whose trade networks were one of the crowning glories of Mayan culture in Yucatán, comes alive once more.
For the Maya, this journey was a mystical undertaking which profoundly influenced their intimate contact with the forces of nature. The event this year has been organised to revive ancient Mayan traditions such as their rituals, dances, music, dress and their relationship with the gods.
Those who wish to witness the 2008 version of the Sacred Mayan Crossing will learn about and participate in different re-creations of ancient Mayan cultural practices: trade, numerology, navigation and the re-telling of myths and legends documented in the sacred book, the Popol Vuh.
This is sure to be an educational, enriching and mystical experience for all who attend.
We would love to hear from anyone who is going or has been. It would be great for those of us interested in Mayan culture to hear about your experience! If you visit our website www.cancun.travel you can share your photos with us!