“THE coming era of the sun will be marked by flood, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes and heavy storms,” said Maya elder Alejandro Pérez Oxlaj, as unseasonable rains poured down over Costa Rica’s Central Valley on Monday evening.
Pérez, a solar priest from Guatemala, was at the School of Ballet in Santa Ana to perform a traditional Maya ceremony as part of the celebration of the Maya New Year, which began Wednesday.
The ceremony was cancelled as a result of the downpour. Pérez instead spoke to the dozens crowded onto the school’s porch about the Mayan New Year and the approaching end of the current era.
THE Maya Calendar year is made up of 18 months that are 20 days long and an additional month of five days, during which the New Year is celebrated.
According to Maya beliefs, it takes the earth 360 days to rotate around the sun. The earth then slows for five days before beginning its rotation again. These five days are for reflection, celebration and reconciliation, according to the Mayas.
“The fourth era of the sun is ending,” Pérez said, explaining how the Maya calendar consists of eras lasting 5,200 years. At the end of each period, he said, “The earth enters the central magnetic axis, which controls the movement of all stars and planets, and during this time undergoes a long night.”
In the Maya calendar, the end of every era is marked by complete blackness for 60 to 70 hours.
THE fourth period is to end sometime between December 2012 and 2015. The exact dates are uncertain, because the Gregorian calendar currently in use does not correspond exactly to that of the Mayas and because all books with direct reference to dates were burned during the colonization of the Mayas, Pérez explained.
“All over the world people are talking about the year zero,” Pérez said, referring to the beginning of the fifth era of the sun. “Some people might believe, others may not, but it is my duty to tell you what we see is going to happen.
“This time it is different,” he continued. “Global warming, pollution and the depletion of the ozone layer will effect this era more than any other era that has come before.”
HOWEVER, Pérez emphasized that he was not trying to scare people and that the public should not worry. He simply was informing them about what will happen.
He also said there was hope.
“It will be the work of everyone. Rich and poor, black and white, indigenous and non-indigenous people must work with cities and governments to improve the world,” he concluded.