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Dec 21, 2012, Mayan calendar ends, not the world

Dec 20 (): The Mayan’s calendar is a “long calendar” that ends on Dec. 21, 2012. The world will not end on Dec 21, 2012.

December 21, 2012 marks the end of a 5,125-year cycle on the Mayan “Long Count” calendar. The long calendar is predicted to have started probably either August 11th or 13th 3114 BC, which means it comes to an end on either Dec 21st or 23rd, 2012.

Duari, a NASA educator and director of M.P. Birla Planetarium, said December 21 is a day of winter solstice and it will be another normal day with a short day and long night as the sun will be at the southernmost point of the sky.

The Mayan civilization flourished in Guatemala and Mexico from 2000 B.C. to 1000 A.D., when they built pyramids and observatories. Their calendar was based on 393-year cycles called Baktuns.

Duari explained, December 21, 2012, is not the end of world but the last day of their calendar as indicated by the Mayan calendar. It is rather the end of an era which, according to the Mayans, was of a duration of 5,125 years or 13 Baktuns, each Baktun being of a duration of little more than 393 years. At the end of the 13 Baktuns, the Mayans believed, there would be the beginning of a new era.

The Mayan calendar is a cyclical calender and it also has names for cycles longer than 13 Baktuns of the long count which are coming to an end in 2012.

The Mayan long count can be summarized as:

A typical long count date has the following format: Baktun.Katun.Tun.Uinal.Kin.

 Kin = 1 Day.
 Uinal = 20 kin = 20 days.
 Tun = 18 uinal = 360 days.
 Katun = 20 tun = 360 uinal = 7,200 days.
 Baktun = 20 katun = 400 tun = 7,200 uinal = 144,000 days.

A popular belief is that a catastrophe will take place on December 21, 2012. But, December 21, 2012 is simply a day that the calendar will roll over to the next Baktun, at Long Count 13.0.0.0.0. The date on which the calendar will go to the next Piktun (a complete series of 20 Baktuns), at Long Count 1.0.0.0.0.0, will be on October 13, 4772.

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