Belize Weddings – 2012 Maya Ruins Wedding Photography
The New Year is nearly upon us. 2012 will be a huge year for Belize, as the heartland of the ancient Maya civilisation. Couples from all over the world will be coming to Belize to marry at one of our many stunning and mystical ancient Maya temples. This is Xunantunich, a city which was first occupied by the Maya people over 2000 years ago.
Xunantunich means ‘Stone Woman’. The name is Mayan, but was not used until the late 19th century after local people started to report stories of a ghostly woman seen dressed all in white, on this ancient site. According to some accounts, she was witnessed ascending the stairs of the El Castillo pyramid and disappearing into a stone wall. There are other versions of this legend. Dr. Jaime Awe, one of Belize’s most prominent archaeologists and Director of the National Institute of Culture and History recalls one; “In the 1880s, in fact, probably in 1887, a gentleman from the village of San Jose Succotz, by the name of Urbano Pat, came up to hunt at the site and the legend claims that at the base of the Castillo, he saw this beautiful young maiden, who was resplendent in bright light and the rays of the sunlight. This maiden appeared to him, and he was scared by the apparition, so he dropped his gun and ran back to the village. When he got to the village, he talked with the native priest, the Chac, as they call him, and the priest decided to come up to the site with him. They came back and they found his gun, but did not see the maiden. And thereafter, several other people have claimed that this young maiden has appeared to them, but nobody has ever been able to follow her into the cave that supposedly goes into the Castillo.”
The Maya people are still very much a mystery, but by studying their ancient civilisations and architecture, the long and fascinating history of Belize comes to life. El Castillo is 130 feet tall, the second tallest man made structure in Belize. Up the north side of El Castillo, there is a wide terrace, which at one time had buildings standing along its outer edge. The wide stairway that you see here leads up to this terrace. Above the terrace rises a high platform on top of which the ancient Maya built two more temples which are visible even now. Imagine getting married in a place so steeped in ancient civilisation.
To get to Xunantunich, you cross the clear waters of the Mopan River on a hand pulled ferry. There are, of course, rumours that a bridge may eventually be installed, but until then the ferry is all part of the unique experience of a wedding at an ancient Maya ruin. Xunantunich is believed to be the largest ceremonial center in the Belize River Valley. The hilltop location provides a panoramic view of the surrounding Cayo District and even across the border into Guatemala. Spanning time from the early Protoclassic to the Terminal Classic Periods, Xunantunich consists of three ceremonial plazas enclosed by house mounds, pyramids, and palaces, the largest decorated with friezes and masks of Classic style. If you are looking for the authentic 2012 Maya experience, there aren’t many places you will find with such a rich history and so few tourists. What an amazing experience!
Of course Xunantunich is an inspiring location for us as Belize wedding photographers. We know that the sort of couples with an adventurous spirit, who wish to document their once in a lifetime experience at an ancient Maya temple in 2012 are the sort of couples that we love to work with. With so many believing that 2012 will be the end of the world, true Maya researchers understand that the significance of 2012 in the Maya calendar is about new beginnings. A ceremony, committing two people in love will never be forgotten if that date is 2012 and the location is Belize.
Happy New Year. May 2012 bring you much love, happiness, peace and prosperity. If you are planning to marry in this historically important year, we invite you to Belize – the heart of the Maya civilisation – for an experience that will connect the ancient with the present and which will provide you with memories and images that you will treasure into the future. Conch Creative specialises in intimate and unique weddings in Belize. Contact us for more information on Belize wedding photography.
This couple were able to have this unbelievably fabulous Maya ruins experience due to the hard work of ‘I Do’ Belize Weddings.
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