Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What is The Maya Calendar? The Doomsday in 2012?


The Maya developed a sophisticated calendar. The ritual calendar that developed in Mesoamerica used a count of 260 days. This calendar gave each day a name, much like our days of the week. There were 20 day names, each represented by a unique symbol. The days were numbered from 1 to 13. Since there are 20 day names, after the count of thirteen was reached, the next day was numbered 1 again. The 260-day or sacred count calendar was in use throughout Mesoamerica for centuries, probably before the beginning of writing.
The Maya also tracked a vague solar year in which they counted 365 days per year. Because they could not use fractions, the "quarter" day left over every year caused their calendar to drift with regard to the actual solar year. The 365-day year contained months were also given names. numbers 0-19 before they changed, so that the count goes Zero Pohp to 19 Pohp, then continues with Zero Wo.
To the eighteen regular months the Maya appended a special five-day month called Wayeb composed of 5 days which were considered unnamed and unlucky. Thus the days were counted: One Imix, Zero Pohp, Two Ik, One Pohp. When the thirteenth day was reached the next day was Thirteen Ben, Twelve Pohp; then One Ix, Thirteen Pohp, Two Men, Fourteen Pohp. After Seven Ahaw, Nineteen Pohp, the next day was Eight Imix, Zero Wo.

Picture taken from

If you have a Java-enabled browser, you will see an interactive calender converter routine below. Fill in the Gregorian Date in the top fields (day, month number, year) and press `Convert' to find the Maya calender date corresponding to that. Please note that the order is day, month, year.
In addition, the Maya used special glyphs to indicate time periods, the kin represented one day. Winals are periods of 20-days which we now call a month. The Tun was a year of 360 days and the K'atun was a time period of 20 years of 360 days each. As we will see later, the K'atun ending was a special time period celebrated by the Maya. It has its parallel in the modern world, the period of time which we call a decade. The Maya also counted 400-year periods called Baktuns. The Maya used these time periods in a special day count which is now called the Long count. Today a typical long count date is written thus: This represents 9 baktuns, 14 k'atuns, 12 tuns, 2 winals and 17 k'ins. [Special note: All names given here are in the new orthography developed by native Maya of Guatemala. Their system is being accepted by many various organizations of Maya and similar forms of this orthography are being adopted by other Maya groups. In reality, this system probably makes it easier for English speakers to pronounce the actual words. Given the Maya propensity for words and language it is only a natural development.]

The Classic Mayan civilization was unique and left us a way to incorporate higher dimensional knowledge of time and creation. By tracking the movements of the Moon, Venus, and other heavenly bodies, the Mayans realized that there were cycles in the Cosmos. From this came their reckoning of time, and a calendar that accurately measures the solar year to within minutes.
For the Maya there was a time for everything and everything had it's place in time. The priests could interpret the heavens and calendar. As the result they could control the daily activities of the populace. Knowing when to plant, when to harvest, the rainy and dry seasons, etc. gave them total power and control. Their comprehension of time, seasons, and cycles was immense.

The Maya understood 17 different Calendars based on the Cosmos. Some of these calendars go back as far as ten million years and are so difficult that you would need an astronomer, astrologer, geologist, and a mathematician just to work out the calculations. They also made tables predicting eclipses and the orbit of the planet Venus.
The calendars that are most important to beings of earth are the Haab, the Tun-Uc and the Tzolk'in. The Tzolk'in is the most important and the one with the most influence.
The Haab is based in the cycles of earth. It has 360 + 5 days, totalling 365 days. The Haab uses 18 months with 20 days in each month. There is a 19th month called a Vayeb and uses the 5 extra days. Each month has it's own name/glyph. Each day uses a sacred sun/glyph.
The Tun-Uc is the moon calendar. It uses 28 day cycles that mirrors the women's moon cycle. This cycle of the moon is broken down into 4 smaller cycles, of 7 day each. These smaller cycles are the four phases of moon cycle. 
The Tzolk'in is the Sacred calendar of the Maya and is based on the cycles of the Pleiadies. The cycle of the Pleiadies uses 26,000 years, but is reflected in the calendar we are using by encompassing 260 days. It uses the sacred numbers 13 and 20. The 13 represents the numbers and 20 represents the sun/glyphs. The Tzolk'in has four smaller cycles called seasons of 65 days each guarded by the four suns of Chicchan, Oc, Men and Ahau. There are also Portal days within the Tzolkin that create a double helix pattern using 52 days and the mathematics of 28. This sacred calendar is still being used for divination by the traditional Maya all over the Yucatan, Guatemala, and Belize, and Honduras.
The Tzolkin calendar was meshed with a 365-day solar cycle called the "Haab". The calendar consisted of 18 months with 20 days (numbered 0-19) and a short "month" of only 5 days that was called the Wayeb and was considered to be a dangerous time. It took 52 years for the Tzolkin and Haab calendars to move through a complete cycle. 
Archaeologists claim that the Maya began counting time as of year 3114 B.C.
This is called the zero year and is likened to January 1, 1 AD. All dates in the Long Count begin there, so the date of the beginning of this time cycle is written 0-0-0-0-0. 13 cycles of 394 years will have passed before the next cycle begins, which is in year 2012 A.D. (13-0-0-0-0).

Mayan Calendar Basics
The Mayas used three different calendar systems (and some variations within the systems). The three systems are known as the tzolkin (the sacred calendar), the haab (the civil calendar) and the long count system.

The tzolkin is a cycle of 260 days and the haab is a cycle of 365 days.
The tzolkin cycle and the haab cycle were combined to produce a cycle of 18,980 days, known as the calendar round.
18,980 days is a little less than 52 solar years.

The "Calendar Round" is like two gears that inter-mesh, one smaller than the other. One of the 'gears' is called the tzolkin, or Sacred Round. The other is the haab, or Calendar Round. The smaller wheels together represent the 260-day Sacred Round; the inner wheel, with the numbers one to thirteen, meshes with the glyphs for the 20 day names on the outer wheel. A section of a large wheel represents part of the 365-day year - 18 months of 20 days each (numbered 0-19). The five days remaining at year's end were considered evil. In the diagram, the day shown is read 4 Ahua 8 Cumka. As the wheels turn in the direction of the arrows, in four days it will read 8 Kan 12 Cumku. Any day calculated on these cycles would not repeat for 18,980 days - 52 years.

According to all the ridiculous hype surrounding Dec. 21, 2012, the Mayans "predicted" the end of the world with one of their calendars. On this date, doomsayers assert that Earth will be ravaged by a smorgasbord of cataclysmic astronomical events -- everything from a Planet X flyby to a "killer" solar flare to a geomagnetic reversal, ensuring we have a very, very bad day. As we all know by now, these theories of doom are bunkum.
And now, according to a recent study by an associate professor at UC Santa Barbara, this fundamental "end date" may also be inaccurate. It could be at least 60 days out of whack.
The Mayans Never Predicted Doomsday

Before we continue, it's worth emphasizing that this mesoamerican calendar (as used by several cultures -- including the Maya -- in Central and South America before European colonization) does not predict an apocalypse. It never did, despite what the movie "2012" told us.
The Mayan civilization existed from 250-900 A.D. in the current geographical location of southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and some of Honduras. Archaeologists studying this fascinating culture have been able to decipher their many calendars, but their longest period calendar -- the "Long Count" -- is what set alarm bells off in the fertile minds of a few conspiracy theorists, doomsayers and guys looking to make a fast buck.

These are a series of videos with horrifying scenes of the destruction of the world. Unfortunately, many people believe in this kind of exaggerated science fiction movies, and they really think the world will probably end like this......

So, where's the problem?
The Long Count was used by the Maya to document past and future events. Their other calendars were simply too short to document any date beyond 52 years. The 52-year calendar -- known as the "Calendar Round" -- was used as it spans a generation, or the approximate lifetime of an individual.
Using the Calendar Round meant that events in a person's life could be chronicled over 52 years -- or 52 "Haab's," spanning 18,980 unique days. But what if the Maya wanted to keep note of a historical event that occurred more than 52 years ago? Or perhaps mark a date more than 52 years into the future?
It's Just a Numerical Coincidence
Using remarkable ingenuity, the Maya created the "Long Count" calendar, a departure from the shorter calendars. The Long Count is a numerically predictable calendar, not based on archaic measures of time.
Now, purely as a consequence of the Long Count's numerical value, many Mayan scholars agree that the calendar will "run out" after 5,126 years (or, at least, it's first cycle does). The Mayans set this calendar to begin in the year 3114 B.C. (according to our modern Gregorian calendar). If the Long Count began in 3114 B.C. and it's calculated to continue for 5126 years, the "end date" will be -- you guessed it -- 2012 A.D. Further refinement sets the date to Dec. 21, the day of the winter solstice for the Northern Hemisphere.


  1. i want a 3 DIMENSIONAL PICTURE of the maya calendar!!!!!!!!

    1. Thanks for the comment mousree. I would like to have it as well, unfortunately i don't.....

  2. Hello - The second image from top of article (stone face looking at earth) is from a painting by James K. (Jim) Papp entitled "Maya Cosmos" and is copyright 1998. This image was featured on our original website http://planetpapp.com/br21december2012/ and on our new site http://inquirewithin.com/2012-beyond and we ask that anyone using either the article or the image give credit and link back to our new site: http://inquirewithin.com/2012-beyond Thank you for correcting this. If you have questions, contact Jim and Lisa Papp inquirewithin@gmail.com . Thank you.

    1. Hi Lisa. sorry for the inconvenience. It is already fixed. Take care and thanks for the warning.