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FILE - In this March 10, 2008 file photo, people watch as Mayan indian priests participate in a ceremony while one holds up a crystal skull at the Mayan ruins of Palenque, Mexico. There is a legend that the ancient Maya possessed 13 crystal skulls which, when united, hold the power of saving the Earth. 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/Alexandre Meneghini)

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)