Thousands of mystics, hippies and spiritual wanderers will descend on the ruins of Maya cities on Friday to celebrate a new cycle in the Maya calendar, ignoring fears in some quarters that it might instead herald the end of the world.

 Brightly dressed indigenous Mexican dancers whooped and invoked a serpent god near the ruins of Chichen Itza late on Thursday, while meditating westerners hoped for the start of a "golden age" of humanity.
"I see it as a changing of an energy, the changing of a guard, the changing of universal consciousness," said Serg Miejylo, a 29-year-old gardener originally from Connecticut.