GUATEMALA CITY – Maya Indians in Guatemala celebrated Tuesday the beginning of the year 5127, prophesied to be marked by a “change of authority.”
“For peace, for harmony, for the unity of peoples,” the Maya priests and spiritual leaders prayed as they danced around the fire, took their places at the four cardinal points and invoked the gods to bring “the dawn of better times.”
Though the festivities are celebrated at dozens of spots the Indians consider sacred, the main ceremony, in which government representatives and leaders of the chief indigenous communities take part, is held at Kaminal Juyu, west of the capital.
These ceremonies mark the end of Wayeb, a five-day period during which the Mayas reflect on all that occurred during the year just ended, and define their goals and actions to be taken in the new year.
The year 5127, according to the Mayan worldview, is governed by Kab’lajuj E, or 12th Road, which represents the “change of authority” in the new time, the path forward and the destiny of peoples.
“What the sacred book Popol Wuj predicts and what is actually going to happen this year in Guatemala is not a simple coincidence, but rather a guide, an orientation and a hope,” Juan Axtij, one of the Indian elders taking part in the ceremony, told Efe.
The old man was alluding to the general elections set for September, when Guatemalans will elect their president and vice president, 158 members of Congress and 333 mayors.
Indigenous people represent 42 percent of the 14.4 million inhabitants of Guatemala.
In the past two decades, Indians have recovered much of their culture after it was in danger of being exterminated by the military repression of the 1960-1996 civil war.
The Mayan calendar, considered one of the most exact and sophisticated mechanisms for measuring time known to man, has a year of 365 days, but with the difference that it is divided into 18 months of 20 days each, plus the Wayeb. EFE