Maya in Mexico: end of the world or giant hoax?


Mexico has profited from the Mayan calendar’s expiration. Image: Chichen Itza

Although Mexico’s federal government is not officially recognising the phenomenon, the country’s tourism agency has launched a ‘Mundo Maya 2012’ website with a countdown to December 21.

December 21 signals the end of the Mayan calendar and has been predicted as the date of the apocalypse, the beginning of a new age or simply a great excuse to celebrate with friends.

200,000 people are expected to visit Chichen Itza, a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya civilization, the Hindustan Times reported.

“It’s a psychic epidemic,” Mexican cigar salesman Miguel Coral from Merida said.

“It’s all about business, but that’s fine. If it helps our country – I think it’s excellent we’ve exported this idea.”

Merida Tourism official Jose May said nobody in Mexico believes the end of the world is coming.

“Those people were sold an idea,” Mr May, a Maya descendent himself, said.

Maya academics, who have fought to downplay the fuelled hype, say there could still be some surprises.

“I think there may be some mischief on December 21 because the whole world is watching,” Maya anthropologist at the University of Kansas John Hoopes said.

“It’s a very fertile opportunity for a tremendous prank.”

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
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