The most recent world cycle of Mesoamerican Long Count calendar begins.
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Without it, crazies would have to come up with an end of the world date other than December 21, 2012. According to mythology, the gods created the world four times, the first three being failures. The previous creation ended on 188.8.131.52.19 on the calendar, which was August 10, 3114 BC. Therefore, since the fourth and (up to now) final creation started the next day, the calendar was reset to 0.0.0.0.0 rather than 184.108.40.206.0.
December 20, 2012 represents the next time we will hit 220.127.116.11.19 on the calendar. December 21, 2012 will be 18.104.22.168.0 and life will go on.
For those interested in understanding the periods:
|Representation||Long Count subdivisions||Days||~ solar years|
|0.0.0.1.0||1 winal = 20 k'in||20||0.055|
|0.0.1.0.0||1 tun = 18 winal||360||0.986|
|0.1.0.0.0||1 k'atun = 20 tun||7,200||19.71|
|22.214.171.124.0||1 b'ak'tun = 20 k'atun||144,000||394.3|
Other than the fact that the last creation ended at the end of the 13th b'ak'tun, there’s no good reason to assume that we couldn’t have 20 b'ak'tuns. The end of the 20th b'ak'tun will be on October 12, 4772. Will that be the end of the world, then?
Well, I don’t think that I’ll be around to see it, but I sincerely doubt it.