The Maya 2012 Winter Solstice celebrations now underway at the Lodge at Chaa Creek are part of a larger initiative to promote better understanding of Maya culture, Chaa Creek owner Lucy Fleming said today.
Speaking from the eco resort’s Chaa Creek Natural History Centre located in the Maya heartland of Belize, Ms Fleming said that education is a key part of the week long celebrations.
“This week is all about honoring one of the richest, most highly advanced ancient civilizations the world has known, so right now our emphasis is on raising awareness and educating our guests, and the world at large, about the many achievements of the Maya,” Ms Fleming said.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s Maya 2012 Winter Solstice Celebrations is one of many observations being held worldwide on December 21 2012, a long awaited date that is pivotal to Maya culture and has been anticipated for thousands of years when it was first recorded on the Maya Long Count, one of the most accurate calendars ever created.
Ms Fleming said that Chaa Creek has been working throughout the year to help debunk the many doomsday scenarios populating the internet and popular culture, and this week will be the highpoint of those efforts.
“It’s not a culmination, as our efforts to educate the world about this fascinating culture are ongoing. December 21 2012 is, however, a pinnacle of our year-long program to show the world the true face of Maya civilization and counter some of the ridiculous ways in which the May have been portrayed,” she said.
Ms Fleming said films such as the Hollywood blockbuster “2012” did little to present a true picture of the Maya.
“The ancient Maya weren’t some shadowy witch doctors predicting the end of the world with mumbo jumbo and weird incantations. Rather, they were astute scientists and astronomers who were at the forefront of many of history’s most notable achievements.
“Many people don’t realise that the Maya had one of the first written languages, were some of the first people to make paper, conduct intricate heart and brain surgeries, discover the concept of zero, and calculate the movement of heavenly bodies with astounding precision.
“Because their huge libraries were burnt by the Spanish Conquistadors hundreds of years ago and all evidence of their achievements virtually wiped out, we have scant information about them. But what we do know is simply amazing, and we expect research to reveal more,” Ms Fleming said.
The Chaa Creek 2012 Winter Solstice is now underway in the lead up to the Winter Solstice on December 21 2012, which will be celebrated around the world and especially throughout the Mundo Maya, or Maya World, which encompasses all of Belize and parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
“We’ll be updating our posts throughout the week with information gleaned from the workshops, seminars and lectures we’re hosting, and will be compiling that information into one document to be released early next year. Besides hosting a great celebration, we’re hoping that renewed interest in this fascinating culture will be an outcome of the 2012 Winter Solstice,” Ms Fleming said.
“And believe me, with everything going on here right now and all the positive energy, I doubt very much that we’re looking at the end of the world on December 21 2012. In fact, it’s a very exciting beginning,” she added.