Ahead of December 21, which marks the conclusion of the 5,125-year “Long Count” Mayan calendar, panic buying of candles and essentials has been reported in China and Russia, along with an explosion in sales of survival shelters in America. In France believers were preparing to converge on a mountain where they believe aliens will rescue them.
The variants of the forthcoming Armageddon range from a catastrophic celestial collision between Earth and the mythical planet or the annihilation of civilisation by a giant solar storm.
In the French Pyrenees the mayor of Bugarach, population 179, has attempted to prevent pandemonium by banning UFO watchers and light aircraft from the flat topped mount Pic de Bugarach.
Mayan apocalypse fever has gotten so out of hand in Russia that government officials have had to publicly address the news. The head of the Ministry of Emergency Situations reassured citizens that no, the world is not ending this month. Regardless, some are still hoarding food, and “panicked citizens stripped shelves of matches kerosene, sugar and candles.”
The Telegraph says that the city of Novokuznetsk faced a run on salt. In Barnaul, close to the Altai Mountains, panic-buyers snapped up all the torches and Thermos flasks.
Speaking in a live interview to five television channels on Friday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev seized on a chance reference to the Mayan prediction to express his scepticism. “I don’t believe in the end of the world,” he said, before adding mysteriously: “At least, not this year.”
Even in Chine people take the probable end of the world rather serious. The whole paranoia about the apocalypse began after Hollywood blockbuster “2012”.
The source of the panic was traced to a post on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, predicting that there will be three days of darkness when the apocalypse arrives.
Shanghai police said scam artists had been convincing pensioners to hand over savings in a last act of charity.
While some countries are scared and getting ready for the end of all, Mexico has organised hundreds of Maya-themed events, and tourism is expected to have doubled this year.
NASA has issued warnings ahead of the reported ‘Doomsday’ on December 21 saying some people have been so distressed by reports of the end of the world they are already not eating or sleeping.
It all started because December 21 is the last day in an ancient Mayan calendar, and the internet has been circulating rumours that a rogue planet called Nibiru would slam into Earth, destroying us all.
December 21, 2012 is when the Maya’s “Long Count” calendar marks the end of a 5,126-year era.
While most people believe nothing other than some astronomical occurrences will happen then (and the Mayans were apparently correct about that according to certain astronomers), some believe that the Mayan 2012 date may mark the end of civilization or perhaps the beginning of a time of great tribulation. It is also getting increasingly popular to refer to the astronomical event as the “galactic alignment”.
The Maya calendar is a system of calendars used in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and in many modern communities in highland Guatemala and in Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico.
However, Mayans themselves reject any notion that the world will end.