Saturday, May 23, 2015Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mayan mania: End of times or new era?

Published on Dec 18, 2012 10:26 PM

Preparations are underway in Mexico and Guatemala to celebrate the start of a new Mayan calendar on December 21. Travis Brecher reports.

(Transcript):  What better place to celebrate the end of times than in a town known as "The End" in the Mayan language?

As thousands prepare to celebrate the start of the new Mayan calendar on Dec 21, tourists are heading here to the remote Mexican town of Xul to usher in a new era.

The end of the current Mayan calendar, which spans about 5,125 years, has sparked fears that it could spell the end of days. But many local indigenous Mayans are perplexed by the apocalyptic paranoia, saying it's a misinterpretation of their beliefs.

People of Maya descent attend mass at a catholic church in Xul on Dec 16, 2012. Dec 21 marks the end of an age in a 5,125 year-old Maya calendar, an event that is variously interpreted as the end of days, the start of a new era or just a good excuse for a party. Thousands of New Age mystics, spiritual adventurers and canny businessmen are converging on ancient ruins in southern Mexico and Guatemala to find out what will happen. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!