Pretty cool. The Google Doodle in most Latin American countries, the UK and Ireland features a stone carving of the word “Google” to honor the end of the 13th Baktun of the Mayan calendar. Miguel Alva, Google Mexico’s marketing manager, posted a blog in Spanish about the meaning of the 13th Baktun. The English translation is below:
“Math, science and astronomy are matters which we have always been passionate about: so with our doodle today, we are celebrating the end of the 13th Baktun of the Mayan Long Count Calendar System. But what does this mean? Mayans were advanced mathematicians and astronomers who calculated the cycles of the moon and sun. They had very specific ways of measuring time, and one of these forms is the Long Count Calendar System, in which each year has 18 months with 20 days. The system also includes other units like the Katun, equivalent to 20 years in our calendar, and a Baktun, which equals to 394 years.
The importance of reaching the 13th Baktun, is that, unlike as what happens in our calendar, a 14th Baktun does not follow. The count returns to zero. In spite of all the disaster stories that you have probably heard, at the end of the 13th Baktun, as every time Sunday ends in our calendar, Monday comes again and thus begins a new week. Those who have studied the issue, explain that this is because the way their scheduling system works, and although it represents the end of a cycle, it doesn’t have a catastrophic meaning. Today’s doodle represents the actual date, December 21 2012, as well as the 13th Baktun, forming the word *Google *. We hope you enjoy this doodle as much as we do, and that the beginning of the next Baktun be very prosperous for everyone.”