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FILE - This June 1, 2007 shows a Mayan priest taking part in a ceremony before 22 traditional Mayan canoes cross the Yucatan Channel, from the mainland near Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, to Cozumel Island, in a ten mile pilgrimage in honor of the Mayan goddess Ixchel. Only a year is left before Dec. 21, 2012, when some believe the Maya predicted the end of the world. While some doomsday theorists may suggest putting together survival kits, people in southeastern Mexico, the heart of Maya territory, plan to throw a yearlong celebration. And to make a profit while they party.(AP Photo/Israel Leal)

FILE - This June 1, 2007 shows a Mayan priest taking part in a ceremony before 22 traditional Mayan canoes cross the Yucatan Channel, from the mainland near Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, to Cozumel Island, in a ten mile pilgrimage in honor of the Mayan goddess Ixchel. Only a year is left before Dec. 21, 2012, when some believe the Maya predicted the end of the world. While some doomsday theorists may suggest putting together survival kits, people in southeastern Mexico, the heart of Maya territory, plan to throw a yearlong celebration. And to make a profit while they party.(AP Photo/Israel Leal)

Mayan region launches apocalypse countdown

Thousands of

mystics, New Age dreamers and fans of pre-Hispanic culture have been

drawn to Mexico in hopes of witnessing great things when the day in an

old Maya calendar dubbed "the end of the world" dawns on Dec. 21.

But many of today's ethnic Maya cannot understand the fuss. (AP)