Published December 21, 2012
After much anticipation, the highly talked about Mayan Doomsday is here, also known as the day when the world will reportedly come to an end.
Except the ancient Maya never predicted a 2012 apocalypse.
For years, New Agers have predicted Friday would mark the destruction of civilization and the possibilities on what would occur during planet earth’s final moments are endless. From a fiery comet hurtling toward us, to a massive ice storm crushing our power system, conspiracy theorists have concluded the end would be nothing short of catastrophic.
But contrary to popular belief, experts have already known that Doomsday is simply a hoax, a misunderstanding based on actual artifacts found.
“The majority of the doomsayers cite a monument from Tortugero, Mexico that mentions the 2012 date, but the main glyph that would tell us what they thought about the date is broken off,” explains Sonja Schwake, an anthropological archaeologist whose research included ancient Maya ritual. “We actually have no evidence that the ancient Maya predicted or wrote down any kind of apocalyptic world-ending event associated with the 2012 date.”
According to the National Geographic, the ancient Maya invented the Long Count, known as a calendar that “transplanted the roots of Maya culture all the way back to creation itself.” However, time reportedly seems to run out on the 21st. While the Mayans may have interpreted this as one cycle of life ending to launch the beginning of a new one, many believe this marks the end of modern civilization.
However, the ancient Mayans have plenty to tell–and it goes beyond “D-day.”
“In terms of an insight into the way the Maya thought about time is the fact we have several instances of texts that refer to dates that are in the future, after the 2012 date,” says Schwake. “So, if they were talking about things that will happen after 2012, they could not have thought the world was ending.”
Some doomsdays have even insisted the deadline is 6:12AM EST, the same time when one should expect the Winter Solstice to occur. So those on the east coast should have spotted fiery balls crashing down by now.
Despite a worldwide frenzy, one group of people is continuing their Friday like any other day: Mexico’s 800,000 Mayans.
Shannon Kring Buset, the filmmaker behind the documentary, “2012: The Beginning,” states she interviewed over a hundred Mayans throughout Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. Most agree on one thing.
“Of these approximately 500 individuals, I met only three who even entertained the idea that Dec. 21, 2012 could possibly bring the end of the world,” says Buset. “And even these people were careful to say that ultimately, the fate of the world was in God’s hands. It’s important to note that the Maya Long Count calendar fell out of use hundreds of years ago. Until this date became part of Westernized pop culture, it did not mean a thing to the Maya of today.”
What does the beginning of the Winter Solstice actually mean? No scorching lava spewing from a volcano, asteroid falling from the sky or some galactic alignment eliminating everything in sight. Rather, it’s a representation of endings and new beginnings, a belief that has existed for over a thousand years.
So go ahead, celebrate the near-end of 2012 with all that food you may have stocked up on just in case.
After all, it’s not the end of the world.
Still stressing over the so-called Mayan Doomsday? Consider these tips on how to cope.