New Age tourists will be flocking to Mexico’s Yucatan Penninsula this week for the “end of the Maya calendar” (sic). But Yucatecan Maya elder José Manrique Esquivel protests that he and his followers will be barred from performing ceremonies at the peninsula’s ancient Maya sites. “We would like to do these ceremonies in the archaeological sites, but unfortunately they won’t let us enter,” Esquivel told the AP. “It makes us angry, but that’s the way it is… We perform our rituals in patios, in fields, in vacant lots, wherever we can.” Francisco de Anda, press director for the government’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), offers two reasons for the ban: “In part it is for visitor safety, and also for preservation of the sites, especially on dates when there are massive numbers of visitors… Many of the groups that want to hold ceremonies bring braziers and want to burn incense, and that simply isn’t allowed.”
Comments Intercontinental Cry:
Meanwhile, as the Maya proceed with their ceremonies, shops in a Siberian city continue to sell Apocalypse kits; Beijing residents are stocking up on crackers, bottled water, and life preservers; in southwest France, the town of Bugarch prepares for a possible deluge of visitors who believe that a mountain could save them from the end of the world; and all the big corporate media services happily continue to spread the mania–all of which stems from little more than basic ignorance toward Indigenous perceptions and realities.
A report on Venezuela’s El Tiempo notes that on Dec. 20, the day before the turning of the Maya calendar on the solstice, Esquivel will lead a ceremony—dubbed the Interactive Maya Cultural Exposition—in Bosque de Chapultepec, the principal park in Mexico City.
A commercial (up to $499 a pop, “plus airfare”) festival dubbed Synthesis 2012 is billed as being held “in Chichen Itza,” but the website doesn’t make clear if it will actually be at the archeological site. Top-featured draw is “Maya Elder” Hunbatz Men, who helped start the 2012 hoopla with the “Harmonic Convergence” of 1987. We use quotation marks only because skeptics question his bona fides, and even his laudatory Wikipedia page betrays his ersatz embrace of New Age canards like the lost continents of Atlantis and Lemuria.
Even mainstream sources are cluelessly parroting the malarky about how the Maya calendar is about to “end.” AP writes, “The Maya didn’t say much about what would happen next, after a 5,125-year cycle known as the Long Count comes to an end.” No such cycle is ending now. A cycle called a baktun, of 400 Maya years or 394 common calendar years, is ending. It is the 13th baktun (hence 5,125, tho that number isn’t eactly right in either Maya or common years), but there is no special significance to the 13th baktun. The baktuns keep going for many thousands of years according to the Maya Long Count.
We await reports from Yucatan on whether authentic Maya voices are heard amid this spectacle.