Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

UPDATE: May 9, 2013 (10:39 Eastern Standard Time in the United States) - The Mayas love a good joke. Cheerio then all, thanks for reading. Until the next Apocalypse.

UPDATE: December 21, 2012 (3:49 Eastern Standard Time in the United States) - The world has not come to an end...for now.

Are you ready for the December 21, 2012, apocalypse when the Maya's "Long Count" calendar marks the end of a 5,126-year era?

Chichén Itzá, located in the Yucatan of Mexico, is the apex of Maya archaeological sites. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988, it is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

The Kukulkan Pyramid (also called “El Castillo”) is the architectural highlight of the ruins. This structure is famous for having various Maya calendar cycles represented in the number of steps, platforms, sides, and levels, all of which are aligned with the equinox sun, such that on those days only, a serpent-shaped shadow descends the steps. The pyramid has four stairways, each with 91 steps and a platform at the top, making a total of 365, equivalent to the number of days in a calendar year.

When I was in Chichén Itzá last month I had the opportunity to talk with the local Maya people to asked them if the world was really going to end on December 21, 2012. They all responded with a laugh and said no.

When I mentioned to one gentleman that my birthday coincided with the end of the Maya Long Count calendar he looked at me sternly and said, “You’ll be one year older, so my friend you’ll be fatter, slower and gray hairs will appear on your head. Your world will be ending, but not the Mayans!”

To all my Flickr friends may we all live to see December 22, 2012!

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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