December 21, 2012, or “the end of the world” according to some people, falls on a Friday, so please be sure you finish up your work for the week on Thursday night. You see, in the Mesoamerican long count calendar (used by other cultures in addition to the Mayans), December 2012 marks the conclusion of a 394-year period called a b’ak’tun. In this case, we are actually living in the 13th b’ak’tun, which will end December 20th. The 14th will begin on December 21, 2012. Unless, of course, you consider yourself a doomsdayer, in which case the world ends on Friday. So if you have been saving that certain bottle of wine for a special occasion, you should probably drink it before then. We are sure that there will be lots of Armageddon parties that week, but for some people, the End-of-Mayan-Calendar freakout has already begun.
Reports say that panic buying of survival items and candles has begun in countries like China and Russia; survival shelters are selling well here in America; in France, there’s that whole Pic de Bugarach thing going on. The UK Telegraph reports that Ron Hubbard, a guy who makes underground shelters, has been doing crazy business:
“We’ve gone from one a month to one a day. I don’t have an opinion on the Mayan calendar but, when astrophysicists come to me, buy my shelters and tell me to be prepared for solar flares, radiation, EMPs (electromagnetic pulses) … I’m going underground on the 19th and coming out on the 23rd. It’s just in case anybody’s right.”
In Russia, panic is setting in about December 21 2012 in some areas. An editorial in the Russian Vedomosti says (Google Translation) :
In our Russian psychosis curious two things. First, 80% Orthodox (According to polls) society somehow reacts to the Mayan calendar, which also has not been seen. Second, the end of the world is seen as economic crisis , which can survive at low levels of consumption.
- Demand for candles has tripled in Chita, Siberia
- Shopkeepers started selling “End of the World” kits for fun, which include vodka, soap, and rope.
- In Barnaul, residents are snapping up all the candles, matches, torches, flashlights and thermoses.
- In Omutninsk, a Tibetan monk was featured in a local newspaper predicting a catastrophe on December 21 2012. People are going out buying up kerosene.
- In Novokuznetsk, there is high demand for salt
China has seen similar panic buying in places like Sichuan province. By the way, the overlong spectacle about the end of the world called 2012 was a big hit in China.
What about the Mayans themselves? Well according to the sages, this end-of-the-world stuff is nonsense. Three of them performed a ceremony on a beach near Havana, which involved an offering of seeds, fruits and flowers. Pedro Celestino Yac Noj said:
“The 21st is for giving thanks and gratitude and the 22nd welcomes the new cycle, a new dawn.”
Other theories concerning the end of the Mayan calendar include a collision with the planet Nibiru, aka Planet X. NASA says Nibiru doesn’t exist. There’s also the belief that the magnetic poles of the Earth would suddenly reverse position.
Our personal belief is that you should shop as usual, and avoid panic buying.