Doomsday tourists descend on Mexico

24th Dec 2012

Thousands of people descended on several ancient Mayan sites across Mexico on Friday and celebrated as life rolled on despite doomsday prophecies.

The Ancient Mayans predicted the world would end on Friday 21 December 2012 after the end of the 13th bak'tun - the latest 400-year cycle in the 5,125-year-old Maya Long Calendar.

But the revellers, who had gathered at various sites across Central America and southern Mexico, took the opportunity to celebrate the dawn of new era for humanity after the day passed without incident.

Mary Lou Anderson, 53, an information technology consultant from Las Vegas, was one of the revellers who had flocked to the UNESCO World Heritage site at Chichen Itza.

She said: "It's not the end of the world, it's an awakening of consciousness and good and love and spirituality - and it's been happening for a while."

An American scholar claimed in the 1960s the Maya believed the end of the 13th bak'tun would spark Armageddon, but the theory has since been described as a major misunderstanding.

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