The Mayan people who lived in what is now modern day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico had exceptionally complicated calendars. During the 18th century, scholars began to translate the Mayan calendar, and realized that the current cycle would end round about December 21st 2012.
It just so happens that upon this date, the earth and sun will be roughly aligned with the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. It is also of course the Winter Solstice, or shortest day of the year. These facts combined with the overheated imaginations of people who love to speculate about the end of the world being at hand, have given rise to endless speculation that somehow the world will come to an end on December 21st 2012, or that we will transition into a new state of being.
Mayans themselves on the whole just shrug their shoulders, and entirely disbelieve in the so called Mayan prophecy. To them it is simply the end of a long time cycle, rather like 31st December. But of course, there is money to be made from Doomsday, so the Tourist Boards of the various Mundo Maya (Mayan World) countries have been milking it as hard as they can.
Many people genuinely believe that the Mayan civilization was founded by extra terrestrial beings, and that they created the complex calendar to indicate to the world that some cataclysmic event would take place. In fact, it’s not even certain that the Mayan calendar does end on December 21st 2012, experts disagree on this point.
People who follow the various Mayan Doomsday Cults believe that there will be some kind of special beam radiated from the center of the Universe to Earth. Of course, one person’s Doomsday Cult is another person’s respectable belief � after all, most Christians believe in the end of the world as we know it and the second coming of Christ.
One of the interesting aspects of the Mayan Prophecy is that people believe that the way in which humans respond to these end of the world events will affect what actually happens. Some believe that if it is greeted with open minds and hearts, we will somehow be transported into a new age, where we will enjoy a higher consciousness.
There are some who believe the the original intergalactic �seed Maya� beings will return on December 21st, bringing with them new knowledge and ushering in a new age of peace, harmony, and wisdom. Interestingly, very few people actually seem to believe that we are looking at the end of the world, rather some kind of rebirth.
Events due to take place at Mayan sites all over the Mundo Maya range from international concerts to a few enthusiasts camping out over night at some of the smaller temples. There doesn’t seem to be a mass subscription to an end of the world scenario, rather, this seems to be for most people something fun and interesting, fueled by the seemingly endless doomsday programming of the History Channel and the like.
Laughably, one such program showed an intrepid explorer traveling to a �secret� Mayan site. The �secret� site is half a mile off of a main road and visited by tourists daily. The Mayan shaman in the film, introduced as a traditional wise man in his Mayan hovel, is actually a well known village elder and tour guide who, carefully out of shot, has a TV, stereo system and the like in his admittedly traditional home.
In hushed tones the intrepid explorer explained that he had to beat his way through almost impenetrable jungle to the site, which he announced he had very special permission to visit. The impenetrable jungle he was showing the viewer was in fact a cultivated banana plantation, there were even a few chickens pecking around! Yes, the Mayan end of the world Doomsday cult has brought charlatans out in their droves.
Fortunately the Mayan Prophecy seems to be a mild and pleasant variant of the regular end times theme which has not gulled people into serious fear and worry.