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End of the World, or Just a Great Excuse for a Party?

The Mayan calendar runs out Friday, Dec. 21. There are several events - ranging from educational to bacchanal - being planned.

 

Don’t make any rash decisions: Experts say 12/21/12 is going to be just another typical winter solstice.

Killer solar flares aren’t expected. Another planet isn’t on a collision course with ours. And the Mayan “long count calendar” ending on this date has no real significance – they had to end it somewhere!

Still, as with previous End of the World predictions, many people are looking to turn the day into an excuse for a celebration. Here are some area events:

  • Winter Solstice at Fernbank Science Center: This family-friendly event promises to be an educational way to "celebrate the Winter Solstice and the beginning of a new Mayan era," including hot chocolate, another gift from Mayan culture.
  • Mayan Fire Ceremony: The Lake Claire Community Land Trust is organizing a "a sacred Mayan Fire Ceremony" to usher in the dawn of the new era, led by Native American Shaman Sylina “Two Bears” Buehne. Details on the Friday evening event are at the group's Facebook page.
  • In Buckhead, there's some alcohol-inspired revelry planned, including an End of the World party in the East Andrews Entertainment District and an End of the Millenium Party that promises champagne, live entertainment and "classy mingling."

What is All the Fuss About?

There are a number of theories and predictions that call for earth’s demise on Dec. 21, 2012. They include:

  • The ending of the Mayan calendar – The Mayans, according to a Sarasota Patch article, kept three separate calendars. The “long calendar” ends on Dec. 21. Some say this constitutes a Doomsday prediction; many do not.
  • Nostradamus – That famed French seer from the 1500s has been credited with predicting several end-of-the-world scenarios that some believe will take place in 2012. The website December212012.com points to the potential sparking of World War III on this date.
  • The collision of Earth and the supposed planet Nibiru – This supposed space catastrophe was initially predicted to strike in 2003. The planet in question was supposedly discovered by the Sumerians, according to NASA. When the world didn’t end in 2003, the date was moved to December 2012 for the deadly collision with earth.

What are the Experts Saying?

The intrigue created by multiple end-of-the-world predictions has made many scholars and even NASA stand up to make statements debunking the claims. They’re all saying the same thing: Go ahead and pay that mortgage bill and wrap those holiday presents.

Here’s what NASA has to say about all of the collective Doomsday prophesies:

The world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.

By the way, the winter solstice is the official first day of winter. It's also the shortest day of the year, with the hours of daylight slowly starting to get longer. For many, that's reason enough to celebrate.

What do you think? Are you planning anything to mark the end of the Mayan calendar? Tell us in the comments area below.


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