It’s December 21, are you still alive?
Still, it begs the question that why has this particular date been singled out to prophesise the ultimate demise?
Enter December 21, 2012.
For many days preceding this date, several people have been at their wits’ end in fear of what they call the Apocalypse, Judgement Day, Armageddon or the End of the World.
With mounting apprehension they await the ‘annihilation’ of planet Earth. Already, a sizeable number has reportedly flocked to the tiny French village of Bugarach, which they believe is the only refuge from the disaster that is soon to engulf the world.
Thankfully, the majority has not been swept away by the frenzy. Still, it begs the question that why has this particular date been singled out to prophesise the ultimate demise? To what sources can we attribute this calculation of doomsday? The answer lies in the Long-Count calendar of the old Mayan civilisation.
The Mayans were a Mesoamerican people that rose to prominence around AD 250 in present-day southern Mexico and its environs. The Maya were famed for massive contribution to astronomy, calendar systems and hieroglyphic writing. Their calendar is basically divided into cycles that encompass thousands of years. The present Long-Count consists of 5,125 years and its last date coincides with December 21, 2012, of the Gregorian calendar. According to Mayan experts, the ‘end’ simply depicts the ‘start’ of a new cycle − a new era.
Sadly, this detail has been distorted, and superstitious people are firmly convinced that it signifies total obliteration. Lending credence to this belief is another theory that has been ascribed to another ancient civilisation: the Sumer. The theory claims that the Sumerians predicted that ‘Nibiru’, a mythical planet, was headed towards Earth and will collide with it in December 2012. Believers in this prediction are unfazed by the fact that this impact was first alleged to take place in May 2003, which did not come to pass.
In this age of great scientific enlightenment, it is indeed a subject of wonder that a large number of people accept such ‘accurate’ foresight of events that have no scientific proof.