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What the Maya Are Doing in Guatemala Right Now

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on December 21, 2012

We’re all supposed to be dead right now.

December 21, 2012, a day that many believed marked the end of the world in the eyes of the Maya, merely marks the beginning of a new calendar cycle, known to the Maya as a baktun. Happy 14th, yo! So, today, far from being the end of days, simply welcomes a new 5,125-year cycle in the Maya Long Calendar. The Maya would be spending the day laughing at you if they weren’t instead participating in their own religious ceremonies.

Univision News Latin America correspondent Manuel Rueda is on the scene in Tikal, one of the largest archaeological sites of the pre-Columbian Maya. He’s been tweeting pics and notes from the celebrations in Guatemala.

“@RuedaReport: It’s 540am in tikal #guatemala and celebrations for the new maya era are recommencing.”

“For many in tikal the arrival of the new maya era is a spiritual moment.”

“Ceremonial fire is burning at the new maya era celebrations in tikal.”

Even the president is there: “Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina returns to maya new era celebration in tikal.”

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And from last night:

“And w/ this pic of a mayan warrior i say goodnite more action from tikal tomorrow i hope.”

“Mayan priests and a native american shaman have prepared a sacred fire in main plaza of tikal guatemala #2012.”

“Its december 21 in tikal #guatemala nothing unusual here so far except for a cool ceremony.”

There might be nothing better than the shot of that dude with the smartphone taking his own pic — how very 14th baktun of him.

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