(Photo: (Photo: altrapoint.com))
The Maya civilization reached its peak between 250 and 900AD and was fascinated by mathematics, astronomy and the cycles of time. Its Long Count calendar began in 3114BC and moves forward in 394-year periods known as bak’tuns. The winter solstice in 2012 marks the completion of the 13th bak’tun. (Photo: altrapoint.com)
Tourism business has become extraordinary brisk in a rather obscure Turkish town, fuelled largely by the frenzied talks of the end of days, renewed recently on the account of the Mayan Calendar cycle.
Hoteliers and other tourism business operators in Sirince, Turkey are only happy that global interest generated by the Mayan Apocalypse has translated into prospects of higher earnings for the small town, which in ancient times was considered a Greek city.
The sleepy is already famed for its wine and tourist locations that regularly attract the affluent Turks but the traffic of visitors spike exponentially, according to Agene France Presse (AFP), as December 21 approaches - the same day the New Age cultists that the Mayan Long Count calendar will come to an end.
With that, the world as know it will cease to exist as claimed by some quarters, insisting that the Maya civilisation, which faded away thousand of years ago, pointed this eventuality.
For some, the thought of destruction in global scale borders to scary suggestions unsupported by solid scientific evidence but for hotel worker Ibrahim Katan, all the talks about the Earth's expiration days before Christmas are good business Sirince residents.
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Sirince, AFP said, won the favour of doomsday prophets, who are convinced that the town lies within an area where Virgin Mary, said to be the earthly mother of Jesus Christ, was taken to heaven.
Located west of Turkey, Sirince is near Ephesus, another Greek city that figured in biblical events.
However', all the spiritual, religious and even cultist aspects of all the speculations about the Mayan Apocalypse and Sirince's place in the equation were completely lost to Mr Katan.
He told AFP that he is just too happy that "the rumours floating around have increased the number of (hotel) customers. We are only happy about it."
It is estimated that this week alone, some 60,000 visitors will flock to the Turkish town, likely hoping that something spectacular will take place on Dec 21 or simply aiming a good ride on something that could prove historical, or the end of it, observers said.
Scholars have dismissed suggestions that something cataclysmic will hit this planet on Friday, with strong supports coming from the U.S. space agency NASA and the Vatican City.
By the end of the week, the Mayan Calendar will definitely trigger something big, academicians said, which they clarified will simply close out the 5,000-year cycle to start a new one. Nothing deadly but historical indeed, the scholars added.
According to Maya alliance Oxlajuj Ajpop, all these swirling rumours that the world will collapse as predicted by the Mayan Long Count Calendar were nothing short of outright lies about the true nature and functions of the Maya time cycle.
"We are speaking out against deceit, lies and twisting of the truth, and turning us into folklore-for-profit," the group's spokesman, Felipe Gomez, told AFP.
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