San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Guatemala invites U2 and Elton John to celebrate end of Mayan Era

GUATEMALA CITY – The Irish band U2, British singer Elton John and Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, among other musicians, were invited to Guatemala to celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar, on December 21, according to the Culture Ministry.
 The list of invitees also includes Canadian singer Neil Young, English singer Sting, Armenian metal group System of a Down and U.S. superstars Bruce Springsteen and Janet Jackson.
 The ministry stated “world leaders, thinkers, philosophers, scientists” are invited to the “World Summit for Humanity” on December 21.
 “That day marks the conclusion of the Grand Cycle of the Mayan calendar – called 13 B’aktun – and the beginning of a new era of 5,200 years,” explained Culture Minister Carlos Batzin.
 Others happen to believe that the end of the calendar marks the end of the world.
 The Guatemalan government, Mexican producer Raúl Julia-Levy, Guatemalan writer Carlos Barrios and Mayan spiritual guides are leading the activities.
 “We are at a turning point, a moment of opportunity, but overall of commitment, so that the natural order that the Mother Earth is going through parallels as human beings, our lives, our civilizations,” Batzin added.
 According to the Mayan solar calendar, December 21 ends an era of 5,200 years and starts a new cycle, which has led to speculation about the end of humanity, but the Maya did not share that vision.
 On Tuesday, Mayan priests performed a ceremony in the archeological center Kaminal Juyu, in the Guatemalan capital, as part of the activities of the countdown to the end of the age “Oxlajuj B’aktun.”
 The Mayan calendar consists of 18 months of 20 days each, plus the ‘Wayeb,’ the holy month of five days. The ‘B’aktun’ is the longest unit of this system and is equivalent to about 400 years.
 The Mayan culture had its peak in the so-called Classic period (250-900 AD). Then began a period of decline in the post-Classic period (900-1200 AD).

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