Celebrations in Mexico as world survives Maya "end of days"

Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:52pm EST
 
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By Alexandra Alper

CHICHEN ITZA, Mexico (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of mystics, hippies and tourists celebrated in the shadow of ancient Maya pyramids in southeastern Mexico on Friday as the Earth survived a day billed by doomsday theorists as the end of the world.

New Age dreamers, alternative lifestyle gurus and curious onlookers from around the world descended on the ruins of Maya cities to mark the close of the 13th bak'tun - a period of around 400 years - in the Maya Long Calendar.

Dismissing a widely disseminated myth that the Maya had predicted some kind of apocalypse on December 21, 2012, they celebrated what they hope is the start of a new and better era for humanity.

After the sun rose in Mexico and the world continued to spin, the visitors to the Maya heartland gave thanks.

"It is a transformation, the dawning of the age of Aquarius," said Jonah Bolt, 33, a radio show host from North Carolina who had brought a large quartz with him to "download" energy from the sacred spot.

"We hope that everyone's intention and love and light focused on this day will just help awaken others to just a better way of living."

The end of the 13th bak'tun in the 5,125-year-old Maya calendar had inspired pockets of fear around the world that the end was nigh or that lesser catastrophes lay in store.

A U.S. scholar said in the 1960s that the end of the 13th bak'tun could be seen as a kind of Armageddon for the Maya. Over time, the idea snowballed into a belief by some that the Maya calendar had predicted the Earth's destruction.   Continued...

 
Tourists meditate at the archaeological site of the Maya civilization of Copan December 21, 2012. Mystics, hippies and tourists descended on the ruins of Maya cities to mark the close of the 13th bak'tun - a period of around 400 years - and many hoped it would lead to a better era for humanity. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera