The Spanish Language Blog

One of the most famous cultures from Central America is the culture of the Maya. Who does not know the Mayan calendar or Chitzen Itza. These are just a few of the impressive structures from the Mayan civilization. The Mayan empire stretched from southern Mexico to northern Central America.

Mayan culture originated around 2000 BC. The peak of Mayan culture was from 250 to 900 AD. However, after this period, the empire continued to grow. It was not until the 9th century that Mayan culture in the central lowlands went into decline. This was caused by wars and because agriculture could no longer handle the required yield due to the prevailing drought. Because of these conditions, Maya culture moved to the edges of the Maya empire. In the north of the Mayan Empire, cities continued to flourish until the 15th century. In 1450, the Mayan empire disintegrated and the city-states were then conquered in 1520 by the Spanish who took advantage of the rivalry between the Mayan cities.

The Maya civilization consisted of 8 to 9 million Maya. Although Maya culture has changed a lot, Maya people still live in Central America. Today, they live mostly in Guatemala. One of the characteristics of Maya culture is the clothing they wear. People almost always wear brightly colored clothing whose fabric is woven by the people themselves. The woven capes and dresses are also a nice souvenir for tourists and thus generate money for the Mayans.

The Mayan calendar

The Mayan calendar is perhaps the best known part of Mayan culture. The Mayan calendar consists of three parts; the Haab, the Tzolken and the Long Count. These three are used together and make up the entire Mayan calendar. The Haab consists of 365 days, and 19 months. 18 Months consist of 20 days and 1 month consists of 5 days. The Haab is similar to the calendar as we know it. To determine religious days, the Maya use another part of the calendar, the Tzolkin. The Tzolkin consists of 260 days divided into 20 periods consisting of 13 days. Even though the Tzolkin does not run concurrently with the Haab, this calendar begins again after the calendar is completed. The last part of the Mayan calendar is the Long Count. It is used for longer periods of time. The Long Count consists of 2,880,000 days, which is equivalent to 7885 solar years. The Long Count is also the part of the Mayan calendar that predicted the world would end in December 2012.

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