mesoamerica and the maya world

Category: ritual

Happy Haab 5125

chajchaay, a maya ball game

Yesterday, Sunday Feb. 22, marked the first day of the Maya year 5125, according to the Maya solar calendar, or haab. The haab is also known as the “vague year,” because it did not adjust for the extra quarter day in the solar year. The Maya were, however, perfectly aware of the discrepancy, which they had calculated more precisely than was the case in Europe’s Julian calendar. Because they had several calendar systems it was not important to them that the haab include such an adjustment.

According to Prensa Latina, over the past couple of decades traditional Maya calendrical celebrations, which had been forced underground by centuries of repression, have become less secretive. The photo (by AFP via Straits Times (of all places, shows  men playing chajchaay, which is described in the caption as “an ancient Maya ball game,” in Guatemala City. It is questionable whether this game has any connection to those played on the ball courts of the classic Maya. Below is one of several YouTube videos showing the game.


Aged chocolate

If you like your chocolate vintage, talk to the archeaologists at Cornell, U Penn, and UC Berkeley. They have found residue of chocolate in a large number of vessels dating from 1400 to 1100 BCE — much earlier than previously confirmed.

It turns out the earliest chocolate was a kahlua-like beverage containing not just chocolate but alcohol as well. That’s two psychoactive ingredients right there. I wonder if they also added some ipomoea, magic mushrooms, salvia divinorum, or the like. I know they were deadly serious about their rituals. But let’s face it, they were also way flipped-out cats.

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