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General NewsThe End of the Year – Or the End of the World?

November 1, 2012

What will you be doing on December 22, 2012? If you believe what some people are saying about an ancient Mayan calendar, you won’t be doing anything – because the world is going to end on December 212012!

The Mayan civilization reached its height in 250-900AD in an area that is now in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and some of Honduras. This culture is known for many things, including their advanced understanding of language, math and astronomy.

The Mayan people had several calendars. One was based on a 52-year cycle. At that time, 52 years was about the length of a generation. For events that were predicted to take place more than 52 years in the future, the Mayans had a “long calendar.” This calendar, which begins in 3114 BC, has a 5,126-year cycle. Do some math, and you’ll find that this means that the calendar ends in 2012.

Some people say that the calendar “ending” in 2012 is similar to when the odometer in your car reaches a certain number, and starts over again at zero. It is simply the end of a cycle, so we start a new cycle. But other people predict that the reason the calendar ends at this time is that the world itself is going to end. This prediction has received a lot of attention; for example, it is the subject of the 2009 Hollywood movie “2012,” the 1990’s book “The Mayan Prophecies, ” and more recent books such as “The 2012 Story.”

Are the doomsayers right? Will the world end in 2012? We’ll find out soon!

Published November 2012

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