Imagine a New Years Eve celebration that occurred only once every 52,000 years.
This is what the year 2012 represents for the Maya, who for centuries have looked forward to it as an important time for rebirth, reflection, and renewal as one cosmic cycle is completed and another begins. It is a date referred to on the famous Maya Calendar for millennia, an epoch around which this incredible culture was built. Now, after a wait of so many centuries, the Maya believe that the dawn of a new era is upon us.
And what better place to experience this epoch than in Belize, the heartland of the Maya people?
The Maya have continuously occupied present day Belize since around 1,500 BC and remnants from their pre classic, classic and post classic cities and religious centres are still found throughout the country. The sprawling city of Caracol, the beautiful pyramid at Xunantunich, the Sacred Caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal, the royal palace of Cahal Pech and many other sites are all within hours of each other, and the majestic ancient city of Tikal in neighbouring Guatemala is only a short drive from the western border. Belize is truly a sanctuary of Maya culture and history.
And the entire nation is preparing for a huge celebration and taking the opportunity to highlight this integral part of Belize’s rich ethnic and cultural makeup.
The Maya view of 2012 is a far cry from the doom and gloom scenarios favoured by some filmmakers and internet conspiracy buffs, and this is a reality we wish to share with the world. There is much to learn from this ancient and wise civilisation, whose early astronomers, physicians and philosophers have been referred to referred to as “the ancient Greeks of the Americas”. Indeed, their incredible knowledge of astronomy, planetary cycles and mathematical calculations are still accurate and continue to astound scientists today. And each year more evidence of this unique, profound civilisation is discovered in Belize.
December 21 2012 makes the winter solstice and, in the Maya Long Count, the completion of the great cycle of the 13th B’ak’tun, a period of almost 52,000 years. For the Maya this is a time of reflection and great celebration as a new age unfolds, and it will be honoured throughout Belize.
All during 2012 there will be special cultural activities, visits to Maya archaeological sites, workshops, sporting events and unique tours to bring the world of the Maya alive to visitors and students. Maya villages welcome visitors, and this is a perfect time explore this fascinating present day culture.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek began as a small family farm in the Maya heartland, and the jungle enveloping our private 365 acre nature reserve contains numerous Maya habitation, temple and trading sites as well as a wealth of artefacts and other evidences of this profound civilisation. Our neighbours and many of our staff are of Maya descent, and we have always been respectful and careful in preserving Belize’s rich Maya heritage.
Leading up to and throughout 2012 Chaa Creek will be offering special Maya themed activities and adventure tours, and will highlight our own excavated and unexcavated sites, and offer special packages such as our beautiful Maya Wedding Packages and Rainforest to Reef Packages with an emphasis on Maya culture. Guests will be encouraged to visit our Maya organic farm, which supplies much of Chaa Creek’s fresh food, as well as nearby village events.
2012 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in acknowledging the achievements of one of the greatest civilisations of the ancient world while celebrating the future with a culture that has been successfully predicting it for centuries. Join us in joining the Maya for one of history’s most long awaited moments – it promises to be nothing short of amazing.
Explore our Belize Maya 2012 Vacation Package
Check out The Maya Calendar
Photo credit: Tony Rath, Dangriga Belize http://www.tonyrath.com