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[slideshow id=1]December 21 is the day the 13 Baktun ends – the Long Count Mayan Calendar-, and a New Dawn a New Cycle a New Era that should be seen as an opportunity for positive renewal to generate changes in our society and human nature in general. This is the Maya philosophy and is based on the knowledge and interpretation of the legacy left by the ancient Maya in their calendars.
Measuring time has always been central in Maya Cosmology. The Long Count was one of the calendars used by the ancient Maya, especially to record important historical events. This time measuring system consists of counting the days from an initial date or “year zero”, measured according to five periods (K’in, Winal, Tun, K’atun and Bak’tun) based on a vigesimal system. The greatest period, the Bak’tun, consists of 144,000 days.
The initial date of the Long Count was recorded by the Maya in several monuments, among which Stela C at Quiriguá stands out. The date was not recorded as 0.0.0.0.0, but as 22.214.171.124.0, and corresponds to day 4 Ajaw on the Tzolkin Caldendar and 8 Kumk’u on the Solar Calendar or Haab. According to the inscription at Quirigua, the initial event of the Long Count can be interpreted as a creation, expressed metaphorically as the positioning of three sacred stones by a pair of creator gods.
The fact that the starting date is 126.96.36.199.0 indicates that this is, at the same time, the date when a previous cycle ended. From this data, the Long Count is then considered to be the measurement of cycles of 13 Bak’tuns, ie 1,872,000 days (5,125.26 Gregorian years). The end of the cycle that began on August 11, 3,114 BC, will be December 21, 2012, which in Maya connotation is 188.8.131.52.0 4 Ajaw 13 Kankin. To date, there is only one known record of that date written by the Maya, and it’s in a monument at the site of Tortuguero.
Much has been said about the end of this cycle, once it reaches the 13 Bak’tun, often with an apocalyptic connotation. However, for the ancient Maya, this date didn’t represent the end of the Long Count or the end of the world. This is can be proven by the nature of the interpretations of the Tortuguero monument and by two inscriptions at the site of Cobá, which recorded Long Count dates far greater than the cycle of 13 Bak’tuns.
The 13 Bak’tun is not to be confused with the catastrophes of other Mesoamerican cultures’ mythologies, such as the “Era of the Suns” of the Aztecs or the failed creations narrated in the Popol Vuh. Either way, the meaning of these myths is not focused on disasters that wiped out humanity, but in the social and spiritual transformations that occurred.
December 1, Cultural Festival, Panajachel (Pelota Maya, Play “Oxlajuj Baktun” with Sotzil)
December 8, Cultural Festival, San Andres Semetabaj (Pelota Maya, Play “Oxlajuj Baktun” with Sotzil)
December 16, Final Game Chaajchay Pelota Maya, Panajachel
December 17-21 Mayan Ceremonies, in preparation for the New Dawn, December 21, San Andres Semetabaj
December 19, 20 & 21, 1 Gastronomy Festival, Culture Festival-Conferences with Mayan Experts, Arqueology & Astronomy, Panajachel
December 20, Cultural Festival, Panajachel
December 21, Boats and Cayucos Festival, Panajachel, Lake Atitlan,
December 22, Mayan Ceremony to receive the New Era, San Andres Semetabaj
* Calendar will be updated constantly…