The countdown to the 'apocalypse' has started and the world is getting ready to embrace the end of an era. According to some interpretations, the Mayan calendar predicts the end of humanity on December 21. As the day approaches, a number of events and parties are being held to commemorate this date.
The Mayan civilization (which flourished between 300 AD to 900 AD) predicted a final event which included a solar shift as well as several earthquakes. According to some interpretations this is supposed to take place on December 21. Some archeologists have contested this prediction, citing instead a transformation and a new era.
Whether the end is coming or not, the world is ready to commemorate this date with a number of celebrations. Here is a roundup of some of them:
In the Mayan region:
The main "End of the World" events are taking place in the five Mayan countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador.
One of the biggest is the "New Dawn for Humanity" summit, organized by the government in Guatemala. The summit will take place in Tikal, one of the most important
Mayan archeological sites. To welcome the new era, participants will be taking part in activities starting on December 20 and running into the next day.
These include, among others, a spectacle of lights and 3D image projection as well as concerts, talks and seminars. The government of Guatemala has invited writers and philosophers as well as artists such as Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Placido Domingo, Elton John and U2. The official attendee list has not yet been published.
An 8-foot (2.4 m) digital clock has been installed in the city of Tapachula on the Guatemalan border marking the days, weeks and hours until the awaited date.
Between the resorts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen in Mexico people are putting messages and photos in a time capsule that will be buried for 50 years. During the time capsule ceremony to take place on December 21, Mayan priests and Indian dancers will perform a traditional ritual.
Crosstown Rebels, a DJ association based in London, is organizing a 24-hour party, ‘Day Zero' at a Mayan Theme Park in Playa del Carmen. The party, taking place on December 20 and 21, will feature Robert Del Naja (Massive Attack) and James Lavelle (Unkle) presenting live renditions of Massive Attack's music. The event will also include performing arts, installations, and spiritual teaching.
The Maya-Geddon, an online event, is being organized by three of the largest internet TV stations in the world. The "end of the world party" is taking place on December 20 starting at 8 pm EST. The "gala pay-per-view affair" will feature mediums who will conduct live free readings. Special guests include author and psychic medium to movie stars Michael Bodine, psychic and medium Sharon Pugh and actors Jim Krut and Rob Fabiani. Tickets to attend the online event are available for $12.21.
For those wanting to commemorate the end of the world at sea, Norwegian Cruises is organizing an itinerary from December 16 until December 23. The cruise, departing from New Orleans will finish in the port of Cozumel, Mexico on December 21. A visit the Tulum Mayan ruins is scheduled.
Tying the knot
Those wanting to tie the knot can join the Mayan Marriage of Many where more than 30 couples will be getting married in a Mayan ruin in Belize. The ceremony takes place on December 12.
Finally, if you would like to host your own end of the world party, the doomsday party website offers advice on food, decoration, games and a lot more.