Gonzalo Alvarez, a 39-year old architect, had just arrived in Cancun for two weeks of revelry linked to the end of the Mayan calendar.
“We came to party and to get ready for the beginning of a new era,” said the man as he gathered his luggage from a baggage carousel at Cancun’s airport.
Alvarez had traveled to Mexico from Florida to see the beginning of a new Mayan era on December 21, 2012. The event will be widely celebrated throughout southern Mexico and Central America.
Mexico is one of five countries that are preparing to meet the mystic date, which marks the end of a more than 5,000-year era, according to the Mayan “Long Count” calendar.
The region expects more millions of tourists for celebrations that will include fireworks, concerts and other spectacles held at more than three dozen archaeological sites, The Huffington Post reports.
But while some are getting ready for the end of the Mayan calendar, others truly believe that the date will usher in the end of the world.
Some New Age spiritualists are sure that the mystic date is “doomsday” foretold by Mayan hieroglyphs – at least according to some interpretations.
The story has been fueled by movies like “2012” by Roland Emmerich and books like the novel “The Mayan Testament” by Steve Alten that have cashed in on the fad.
NASA has previously tried to calm down people, afraid of the upcoming apocalypse by writing a special statement.
“The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth,” the agency wrote at the time.
“This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012 – hence the predicted doomsday date of Dec. 21, 2012,” NASA added.
Meanwhile, as the date is getting closer, hotels on a mystical mountain in Serbia can’t handle with influx of people convinced that the end of a Mayan calendar heralds the destruction of the world on Dec 21.
Hotel owners around the mountain, called Mount Rtanj, in the east of the Balkan country, report that bookings are flooding in, as people hope that the mysterious place will save them from the apocalypse.
“In one day we had 500 people trying to book rooms. People want to bring their whole families,” said Obrad Blecic, a hotel manager.
Adherents of the Mayan calendar think the 5,100ft-high mountain, which is a part of the Carpathian range, conceals a pyramidal building inside, left behind by alien visitors thousands of years ago.
Arthur C Clarke, the British science fiction writer, has previously described Rtanj’s peak as a place of “special energy” and called it “the navel of the world”.
Doomsday cultists suggest that the place has special energy that could be channelled to protect them from the end of life as we know it.