Happy Mayan Apocalypse Day!

Are you ready for the end? Or perhaps a new beginning?

Either way, buckle up, because today marks the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse (December 21). This date corresponds to the end of the 13th b’ak’tun, or 144,000-day cycle, on the Maya Long Count calendar, marking a full cycle of creation, according to the ancient Maya.

This milestone has triggered both fear and excitement in some subcultures, particularly online. Some believers see the day as a true doomsday, when the Earth will be destroyed in a planetary collision or other major disaster. Others see it as a day marking a new dawn of peace and unity.

All of this excitement stems from two ancient texts found in Central America and dating back to the heydays of the Mayan Empire. One calendar inscription was found on a monument made around A.D. 669 in Tortuguero, Mexico, and refers to the coming of a god associated with cycle changes on the Dec. 21 date. (Of course, since December is an invention of western calendars, they didn’t use quite those terms.) Doom & Gloom: Top 10 Post-Apocalyptic Worlds

A second inscription, unearthed this year in Guatemala, refers to a struggling king who called himself the “13 k’atun lord,” an effort to tie himself to the 13th b’ak’tun of Dec. 21, 2012. This was likely a public relations move designed to shore up support after the king suffered a crippling defeat in battle a few years before.

In neither text were apocalyptic predictions made. But when westerners caught wind of the Mayan calendar, they mixed in their own end-of-the-world mythology, much of it stemming from Christianity, and created a new legend, according to University of Kansas Maya scholar John Hoopes.

So, celebrate today – it may be your last!  Or wait until tomorrow (December 22) and Party Like It’s Not The End Of The World!

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