Thousands of mystics, New Age dreamers and fans of pre-Hispanic culture have been drawn to Mexico in hopes of witnessing great things when the day in an old Maya calendar dubbed ‘the end of the world’ dawns on Friday.
But many of today’s ethnic Maya cannot understand the fuss. Mostly Christian, they have looked on in wonder at the influx of foreign tourists to ancient cities in southern Mexico and Central America whose heyday passed hundreds of years ago.
For students of ancient Mesoamerican time-keeping, December 21, 2012 marks the end of a 5,125-year cycle in the Maya Long Calendar, an event one leading US scholar said in the 1960s could be interpreted as a kind of Armageddon for the Maya.
Academics and astronomers say too much weight was given to the words and have sought to allay fears the end is nigh.