Mayans, New Agers praise the new dawn at Mexico’s Chichen Itza
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Mayans, New Agers praise the new dawn at Mexico’s Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, Mexico — Was it just another solstice marking the beginning of winter? Or the dawn of a new era, as predicted by Mayan priests?

Whatever happened on Dec. 21, 2012, the world did not end.

GlobalPost visited one of the most sacred sites of the Mayan world, Chichen Itza. At dawn as clouds shrouded the sky above, tourists, New Age folks and local indigenous people converged on the site to mark what for them was a momentous day.

Photos by Keith Dannemiller/GlobalPost.

At sunrise, the first visitors begin to arrive at the El Castillo pyramid in Chichen Itza, Mexico's stunning Maya archaeological site.

More travelers reach the pyramid in anticipation of the solstice celebration.

A woman breaks into a joyous run when she first sees the El Castillo at dawn.

Indigenous people from Mexico celebrate the dawn of the new era and the new Mayan calendar with a series of dances and ceremonies at the base of the El Castillo pyramid, just after dawn.

Indigenous groups from Mexico and travelers from around the world took in the new dawn at Chichen Itza.

Revelers in traditional indigenous garb dance on the sacred land of their ancestors.

Two revelers, visiting from the US, photograph indigenous dancers at the base of the El Castillo pyramid with their iPads.

Spiritual celebrants from outside Mexico participate in group prayers, meditation and movement at the base of the El Castillo pyramid just after sunrise.

Solemn prayer as the sun began to blaze down on the Mayan pyramid.

Meditation.

Collective prayers and meditation at the base of the El Castillo pyramid just after sunrise

A young indigenous girl, chosen to represent the new era ushered in on Dec. 21, is presented to the crowd of worshipers.

Sara Victor came from Canadian city of Nelson, British Columbia, to participate in the spiritual celebration.

Participants in the festivities linked arms and held hands.

International TV crews cover the events of the spiritual celebration at Chichen Itza for the dawn of the new Mayan calendar.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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