I am slightly deviating at this moment because everybody in the world is now eagerly discussing about 21st December and the Mayans Calendar. What is this Calendar and what is its importance? Let us see how it works. The Mayans calendar is the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar that is characterized by its non repeating nature. The long count calendar identifies a day by counting the number of days passed since the Mythical creation date corresponds to August 11 BCE 3114 in the Gregorian calendar.Scholars of the Mayan Civilization were expert in Sky watching and they predicted the condition of Sky on Dec 21, 2012. This day will be a Winter Solstice. The Sun is going to exactly overlap with the intersect point of Ecliptic of the Milky Way and Equator.
The Maya were an ancient civilization of the now called Central America and Southern Mexico. During their heyday, the Mayans have developed some calendars to track the sacred days and also to mark the start and end of cyclical periods. They developed one calendar called Long Count and tracked the future long time periods. This calendar starts in 3114 BCE and it marked time in roughly 394 year period known as Baktuns. In one long future cycle, they marked December 21, 2012 as the end of the long cycle. The Mayans wrote that the significant 13th Baktun ends in December 21, 2012. According to Mayans calendar, the Long Count resets to 184.108.40.206.0 on 21.12.2012.
Mayans developed many kinds of calendars and two widely used calendars are the 365 day Solar calendar called Haab and the 260 day calendar having 20 periods of 13 days called Tzolkin. Both the calendars identified and named the days but not the years. The combination a Haab date and Tzolkin date identifies a particular date which did not occur again in 52 years. Both the calendars repeat in a period of 52 Haabs years known as Calendar Round. To identify the dates of longer periods more than 52 years, the Mayans developed the Long Count Calendar.
Long Count Calendar
The Long count calendar works like this. It identifies a date by counting the number of days starting from a particular date and they fixed the date as August 11, 3114 BCE since as per Gregorian calendar, it is the world’s creation date. The starting date of Julian calendar is September 6 and the year 3113 as per the Astronomical year. August 11 is based on the GMT correlation. According to Maya, the completion of the 13 Baktuns on Aug 11, 3114 BCE marks the origin of human beings and the human dominated world.
The concept of Mayans is interesting. On Aug 11, 3114, three stones were set at the Lying down sky. The sky was lying on the Primordial sea and was black in colour. The setting on the three stones centered the cosmos and lifted the sky to reveal the Sun.
The Mayans calendar is based on the Base-20 and Base-18 scheme. So 0.0.0.1.5 equals 25 and 0.0.0.2.0 equals 40. Thus the number 0.0.1.0.0 represents 360 days. The calculation in the Mayans calendar works like this
Number Count Division Days Solar year
0.0.0.0.1 1 Kin 1 1/365
0.0.0.1.0 1 Winal (20Kin) 20 0.055
0.0.1.0.0 1 Tun (18 Winal) 360 0.986
0.1.0.0.0 1 Katun (20 Tun) 7200 19.1
220.127.116.11.0 1 Baktun (20 Katun) 144,000 394.3
The Long Count calendar was written in Mayans Numerals which is very interesting to see.
Number of days Unit
For example 18.104.22.168.0 equals 6 Baktun, 19 Katun, 19 Tune, 0 Unial and 0 Kin. Total is 6 x 144000 + 19 x 7200 + 19 x 360 . It comes as 1,007,640 days. 22.214.171.124.0 equals 13 x 144000 = 1,872,000 days. From Aug 11, 3114, it is Dec 21, 2012. Scholars of the Mayan Civilization were expert in Sky watching and they predicted the condition of Sky on Dec 21, 2012. This day will be a Winter Solstice. The Sun is going to exactly overlap with the intersect point of Ecliptic of the Milky Way and Equator.
As per the book Popol Vuh with the details of Maya civilization, we are now living in the Fourth world. According to the concept, first three creations of God failed, but the fourth world was successful with human beings as dominating animals. According to Maya Long count, the previous creation ended at the start of 14th Baktun at 126.96.36.199.19. Another 188.8.131.52.19 will starts from December 20, 2012 which will be followed by the start of 14th Baktun, 184.108.40.206.0 on 21st December 2012.
But anywhere, in the concept, the end of world is not describing, instead it is describing the start of the new world when the counter resets. It can be a new world with progressive and creative ideas for the well being of the human kind.