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Events celebrate end of Mayan calendar

- September 11th, 2012
A Mayan priest prays during a Mayan ceremony celebrating the "International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples" on August 9, 2012.  AFP PHOTO/Johan ORDONEZ

A Mayan priest prays during a Mayan ceremony celebrating the “International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples” on August 9, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Johan ORDONEZ

The end is near… or, at least it is for people who believe the end of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 12, 2012 will bring the end of the world.

While some are growing fearful as Dec. 12 draws near, the Mayans are getting ready to celebrate the end of their calendar as a time of change and new beginnings. People will have the opportunity to decide how they live and whether they will accept or resist change. If we accept, Mayan prophecy sees a time of great peace. However, if we resist, cataclysmic changes will occur.

To celebrate the end of the calendar, the Mexican Caribbean and Cancun are planning a number of special events for tourists. Discover the world of Mayan ruins, culture and mysterious history away from the beach at one of these festivities:

  • From Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, Xcaret, Cancun’s eco-archeological park, invites visitors to learn about Mayan history and its diverse characteristics across regions through the Day of the Dead. Visitors will get to learn and personally experience traditions and cultures. According to the tradition, the holiday honors the souls of the dearly departed who roam the earth to enjoy the pleasures they had during their lives.
  • Macaws were very significant in the Mayan culture as they represent the sun, and on Dec. 21 and 22, visitors will watch the freeing of 104 macaws, which will fill the sky with a red glow as the majestic birds fly away.
  • From Dec. 1 – 21, Xcaret invites guests to take a mystical journey and ponder what the rebirth of the calendar will mean while in harmony with nature through guided tours on the River of Paradise and jungle trails.
  • The restaurant The Island will offer Xcaret guests the opportunity to celebrate together the rebirth of the Mayan calendar on the night of Dec. 21 at a gala dinner that will include dancing, a traditional meal, and a special tribute.
  • The Maya had four cosmic directions represented by four different colored trees. The sacred trees were believed to be a way to communicate directly with the gods. From Dec. 1 to 22, guests are invited to re-enact this tradition by sending their messages to the gods using the sacred trees.
  • Locals and tourists are invited to bring recycled bottlers filled with handwritten well-wishes for the Pyramid of Positive Thoughts, a modern day pyramid under construction by artist Xavier de Maria y Campos to pay tribute to the Mayans’ legacy and precision regarding the energy of their calendar. By placing these thoughts on paper, the artist hopes that the cosmic energy will be encrypted in the sacred geometry of the pyramid, thus enabling these thoughts to become reality. For those who cannot visit Cancun this year, positive thoughts can be submitted using the official Facebook page: Pyramid of Positive Thinking 2012 or Piramide del Pensamiento Positivo Homenaje a la Cultura Maya.
  • Most hotels are offering sea-side meditation or yoga classes for self-renewal.
  • The Ceiba trees are sacred to the Mayans and it is believed that the gods sit atop the trees and listen to our wishes and desires. Guests can easily find one of these majestic trees and experience a truly spiritual moment.
  • Visitors can be part of a mystical journey to the Mayan underworld as they travel between stalactites and stalagmite dripstones, emerging as new beings.
  • Dec. 20 and 22, Xel-ha, an ecological park, will host candlelight ceremonies in the evening for guests to celebrate the coming of the new era among a sea of floating candles.
  • Cancun encourages visitors to take a swim in the crystal clear waters of the many sinkholes in the region, which Mayans considered to have calming and purifying properties.
  • During the summer, visitors can help conserve the turtle species by releasing them in a symbol of their commitment and respect for the balance of nature.
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