Maya people of Guatemala, who still practice their ancient religion, have been making preparations to celebrate the coming of the 14th Baktun on December 21, 2012 of our modern or Gregorian Calendar. We are in the final days of the 13th Baktun, which is the current 394 year cycle of the Mayan Long Count calendar. There are seven more Baktun cycles (2,758 years) in the current Pictun cycle. Then the Baktun count restarts from zero again.
Millions of descendants of the ancient Maya live in Guatemala, comprising 60 percent of the 14 million people of country. Spiritual ceremonies and rituals are planned for December 21, 2012 at several sacred sites around the country, including Tikal, Iximche, and Quirigua.
|Mayan Altar under Giant Ceiba Tree at Quirigua. Photo|
For the past year, Mayan priests have been performing ceremonies on the 21st of each month to prepare for the coming of the next Baktun. The primary focus of these ceremonies is asking for permission and assistance from our ancestors and from the gods, that we be prepared to start the new Baktun with a clean soul.
The ancient Mayans used three calendars, the Tzolkin, the Ha'ab, and the Long Count or Fifth Sun calendars. All have now been deciphered and are fully understood. The Mayans used a ritual or sacred 260 day calendar, a solar calendar of 360 days, plus a 5 day correction called Uinal, and the Long Count calendar for recording dates over vast stretches of time. It's not known why the Long Count calendar is called the "Fifth Sun Calendar". The "Fifth Sun" began on August 13, 3114 BCE and the Long Count begins on this date. The ancient Mayans had a very long view of time, much longer than that of Europeans--at least until the advent of modern astronomy and the discovery that the universe is billions of years old. The Long Count calendar is capable of recording dates over a billion years into the future and Mayan writings discuss dates millions of years in the future.
In a few days, the Long Count date on December 20, 2012 will be 188.8.131.52.19. The day after, the new Baktun begins with a Long Count date of 184.108.40.206.0, 4 Ajaw 8 Kumku on December 21, 2012,
Be prepared and consider attending the ceremonies and festivities at a nearby sacred Mayan site.
Today's date for all three Mayan calendars.
Article that details the workings of the Long Count Calendar.
|Stela C at Quirigua. Photo|