The five unnamed days at the end of the Haab’ calendar are called the “Wayeb’,”
This period of time was believed to be a very dangerous time to the Maya.
It was believed that during the five day period of the Wayeb’, the passageways between the mortal realm and the realm of the underworld opened up. This left no boundaries that prevented the ill-intending spirits and deities from creating havoc and causing disasters to happen.
During this time, the Maya had customs they followed and practiced certain rituals to ward off the evil spirits during the days of the Wayeb’.
Some examples of the customs that many Maya followed during the period of the Wayeb’ would be practices like trying to avoid leaving their house for the full five days if they could. Bishop Landa wrote that the Maya believed that the time during the Wayeb was considered to be such an unlucky period of time that they didn’t wash, comb their hair or do any hard work during these five days.
It was treated as a sort of Sabbath where they rested and avoided doing anything. The Maya also believed that anyone born during these days would have a life of bad luck and would remain poor and unhappy for the whole of their lives.
This article is an excerpt from the book: Kane, Njord. The Maya : The Story of a People. 2nd ed. Yukon: Spangenhelm, 2016. ISBN: 978-1943066032 Used by permission from the author and publisher exclusively for use on readicon.com only.
- Kane, Njord. The Maya : The Story of a People. 2nd ed. Yukon: Spangenhelm, 2016. ISBN: 978-1943066032
- Foster, Lynn V. “Handbook to Life in the Ancient Mayan World.” New York: Facts on File. 2002
- De Landa, Diego (1937). Yucatan Before and After the Conquest: An English translation by William Gates of Relation des choses de Yucatan de Diego de Landa.
- Freidel, David; and Linda Schele and Joy Parker (1995). Maya Cosmos: Three thousand years on the shaman’s path. New York: William Morrow. ISBN: 978-0688140694.
- Thompson, J. Eric S. (1929). “Maya Chronology: Glyph G of the Lunar Series”. American Anthropologist, New Series 31 (2): pp.223–231. ISSN 0002-7294.
- John Major Jenkins. “Tzolkin: Visionary Perspectives and Calendar Studies.” Borderland Sciences Research Foundation; First Printing edition (1994). ISBN-10: 0945685165.
written by Njord Kane © 2016 Spangenhelm Publishing
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