For Mayas time is not separate from human life, it is life, breath, death and transformation.
It enrolls the wheel of time which amounts to an historic era of 5.126 years; beginning 3.114 BCE, end 2012 AD. It is representing the number of days since the start of the Mayan era.
Long count inscriptions, according to units of varying lengths, record a day in time:
Kin is a day and the smallest unit
Unial is 20 times 1 day so it is 20 days
Tun is 20 times 18 days so it is 360 days
Katun is 20 times 360 days so it is 7.200 days
Baktun is 20 times 7200 days so it is 144.000 days
Shortly we can say that twenty of this k'ins is known as a uinal, eighteen winals make one tun, twenty tuns are known as a katun and twenty katuns make a baktun. The Long Count calendar identifies a date by counting the number of days.
For Example date according to Long Count:
“126.96.36.199.7” it is read as: “9 baktun, 15 katun, 5 tun, 8 unial, 7 kin” / or it is read as: “1.405.967 kin”.
The first date in the Long Count should be 0.0.0.0.0 and the baktun are numbered from 1 to 13. For the highest 13 to flip over would take almost 142 nonillion years. Scientists estimate the Big Bang took place about 15 billion years ago. The scale of Mayas vision of time is staggering by comparison.
The Long Count will again reach 188.8.131.52.0 on 21 or 23 December AD 2012 assuming one of the first two equivalences.
The year of 2012 (184.108.40.206.0) may have been the Mayas’ idea of the date of the re-creation of the world.