Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Oxlajuj B'aktun Antigua Guatemala Reviews
The Mayan Celebrations of Winter Solstice Sep 21, 2013
World newspapers newspapers printed sensational stories about the Mayans and the demise of the Mayan calendar, as the 2012 Winter Solstice approached. Headlines varied from predictions of a major implosion of the earth to a worldwide apocalypse and perhaps even the end of the world.The feeding frenzy for news was fed by the idea that the Mayan's knew something that had escaped everyone else.
This all transpired because the old Mayan long count calendar was due to expire after some 2,300 years, Tales of impending doom always make good reading and predictions, however outrageous, make good news. Research does not seem to be one of the better features of current journalism.
The Mayan Baktun calendar was formed some 2,300 years ago and was composed of 13 Baktuns of some 144,000 days, therefore 2012 was the finish....perhaps...
What is most interesting is that the next calendar , to last some 7,000 more years was found in the fall of 2012 in another temple....so the impending doomsday was never a Mayan consideration. What is fascinating, is that this fact was given little type space.
So despite predictions , solstice came and went.
I was very fortunate to be in Antigua, Guatemala, a hotbed center of Mayan culture, during winter solstice.. I expected the solstice to be celebrated in a major way , and I and was surely not disappointed.
The day's serious celebrations began at 5:00am with prayer and incense and moved to a vigil till the sun moved into the high sky.
The day unfolded with periodic ceremonial prayers and dancing in traditional dress. It was a mixture of prayer and celebration, as perhaps solstice should be. The day of festivities ended with ceremonial prayers and a offering of " Thanks" to the Mayans, by the Spanish. In light of the violent history,of the Spanish towards the Mayans, I found that an interesting touch.
During the day , there were large tables on one side of the central parkthat served many different Mayan foods..." Yummie, is an understatement"
I took many photographs, like a man bewitched by the Gods. Far too many for this review. These sample photographs were taken in sequence and are presented with my commentary and interpretations.
We often forget that we are NOT the founding fathers of the New World. The Mayans depict their the rich culture in Guatemala. Once again, my belief, faith in the future and love for this country grows.
It was a day, I will remember forever......
Part of the Guatemala - 2013 travel blog
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