We know that the Mayans had amazing astronomical, mathematical and agronomic knowledge. As well, they performed ancestral rituals and in an “inexplicable” way, they disappeared.

Today on our blog we bring you the most intriguing facts about the Mayans. Hopefully this will give you more insight about their culture and traditions.

Here we go!

The Mayan Calendar

The Mayan calendar calculates a solar year of 365.2420 days, while the Gregorian calendar calculates it at 365.2425 days.

According to recent measurements with the use of technology, scientists have determined that a year lasts exactly 365.2422, which is why the Mayan calendar is more precise than the Gregorian calendar.

Cities such as Chichén Itzá and Tulum, are clear examples of how the Mayans had excellent astrological knowledge since both cities are perfectly aligned geographically to the Sun and the Moon.

Mayan calendar

The Chewing Gum

Did you know that the gum we chew today has Mayan origins?

The Yucatan Peninsula is full of a very peculiar tree, the Sapote tree to be exact, tall by nature and with whitish and gray tones in its bark.

These are known as the chicle trees (tzicli). The bark was cut out in a diagonal zig-zag shape to extract its resin and then produce chicle, or chewing gum.

Back in that time, the chewing gum became one of the main products for trade for the Mayans.

Late in the nineteenth century, Antonio López de Santa Ana exported a ton of the resin to New York where Mr. Thomas Adams added flavor and created the famous “Adams New York Chewing Gum”.

Zig-Zag cut in the bark of the tree

The Disappearance Of The Mayans

It is one of the most talked about topics, the inexplicable disappearance of the Mayans. However, the Mayan culture never disappeared and today it is one of the most important indigenous cultures and with the largest number of inhabitants in Mexico. Not only that, its traditions and customs have become an important tourist attraction of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Millions of tourists who visit the Yucatan Peninsula each year, interact with local citizens of Mayan origin. Moreover, in the states of Quintana Roo, Campeche and Yucatán it is very common to hear people speak Mayan whom still wear their traditional clothing.

Mayan community in Yucatán currently

One Of The Largest Civilizations In America

We usually point to the Yucatan Peninsula by default as the reference to this culture, but did you know that the Mayan civilization were spread in territories that today are countries such as Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador?

The clearest case is Guatemala, where the Mayan heritage has been fundamental. There, thousands of vestiges of cities of the ancient civilization have been found, most of them within the jungle; a clear example is the ruins of Tikal.

Today in Guatemala some 30 variants of the Mayan language are spoken.

These findings and factors have determined that the Mayans were one of the largest civilizations in America.

Tikal ruins in Guatemala

Great Writing System

The Mayan writing system is considered one of the most complex since they can be read from top to bottom and from right to left. Today, experts still find it difficult to interpret.

These hieroglyphs were painted or carved on ceramics, walls, or codices. Numerical data, dates, names of people, places, astronomical data, etc. were written on them.

Mayan script

Are you still interested and curious about the Mayan culture? What are you waiting for, come and discover more culture with us in this wonderful destination with the help of our specialized team. Contact us now!

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