The long count is represented as a five place notation system of ascending cycles - kins (days), winals (20-day months), tuns (360 days), k'atuns (20 tuns), and bak'tuns (20 k'atuns). It is important to note that the long count's version of a year, the tun, is only 360 days, not the solar count of 365. This means the long count diverges from the Haab by five days every year, making it a completely unique and separate cycle. The largest of the long count's five cycles, the bak'tun, is a period equaling 400 tuns. Many believe the full cycle of the Long Count is complete when 13 bak'tuns have passed since the beginning of the creation of this current universe, identified as the 4th creation in the Maya "story of creation", the Popol Vuh. That date, currently of such great interest to those anticipating an "end of days", will occur on December 21, 2012 AD. Another widely held belief about the Long Count is that the bak'tun in fact does not reset at 13, but is rather another cycle of 20 like all the other place values, with the exception of the months, or winals. The winals are 18, and that is likely because the Maya solar calendar, the Haab, is divided into 18 months of 20 days each.
|Piktun||20 Bak'tuns||8000 tuns||2,880,000 days|
|Kalabtun||20 Piktuns||160,000 tuns||57,600,000 days|
|Kinichiltun||20 Kalabtuns||3,200,000 tuns||1,152,000,000 days|
|Alautun||20 Kinichiltuns||64,000,000 tuns||23,040,000,000 days|