2012 Mayan Calendar Doomsday Countdown: Mayan Descendants Face Approaching Change of Times with Calm

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | December 18, 2012 3:14 PM EST

In various parts of the world, people are getting anxious over the supposed end of the world on Friday, December 21, 2012. But to the very descendants of the Mayan culture who supposedly predicted the world's annihilation, they will face the end of the calendar and change of times with calm and serenity.

Ironically, if the Mayans were asked about the impending Armageddon, they would give you a direct reply that even they don't have an idea as to when and how the world will end.

"We don't know if the world is going to end," 62-year-old Liborio Yeh Kinil told NBC News. The old man lives at the town of Uh-May in Quintana Roo state in the heartland of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.

"Remember 2006, and the '6-6-6' (June 6, 2006)? A lot of people thought something was going to happen, and nothing happened after all."

But if there's something the Mayans welcome to all the hullabaloo is that tourism has spiked in the Yucatan peninsula.

"It's a psychic epidemic," cigar salesman Miguel Coral, 56, of Merida, a colonial town and capital of Yucatan state, told Reuters News. "It's all about business, but that's fine. It helps our country. I think it's excellent we've exported this idea."

"If people who believe in this joke want to come, let them," Jose May, a Mayan descendant who is also a tourism official of Merida, said. "Nobody here believes that. Those people were sold an idea."

Mexico's Ministry of Tourism has in fact lined up a number of activities to herald the end of a cycle in the Mayan Calendar.

Among these activities include the opening of two Mayan culture-themed museums by the end of the year, as well as the creation of the first University for Mayans in Yucutan State, where the Mayan ancient cities of Tulum and Coba can be found.

"The date of December 21, 2012 is not the end of the world. It is just the end of a cycle in the Mayan Calender and as it ends, a new cycle will start," Saul Martin Ancona Salazr, Head of Tourism Department of Yucutan State, was quoted by china.org.cn.

On Friday, December 21, 2012, a major cycle in the 5,125-year-old Mayan Long Count calendar, known as the 13th Baktun, ends.

The Mayans consider December 21 a significant day, that is why they have planned a lot of celebrations and rituals and ceremonies around it.

"Why get panicky? If something is going to happen, it's going to happen," Yeh Kinil said.

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