By BosNewsLife News Center
MEXICO CITY/MOSCOW (BosNewsLife)– Christian Maya looked on in wonder Friday, December 21, at the invasion of foreign tourists to ancient cities in southern Mexico and Central America where they expected the world to end based on ancient Maya predictions.
“We don’t believe it,” said Socorro Poot, 41, a housewife and mother of three in Holca, a village about 25 miles (40 km) from Mexico’s famed historic site of Chichen Itza. “Nobody knows the day and the hour. Only God know,” she told Reuters news agency.
December 21, 2012, marks the end of a 5,125-year cycle in the Maya Long Calendar, an event some scholars said could be interpreted as a kind of Armageddon for the Maya.
Devoted Christian say however that the Bible makes clear this earth will last at least another 1,000 years after Christ establishes His Kingdom here, which has not yet happened.
That view is shared by at least some Maya, most of whom are Roman Catholics.
Tracing their origins to the end of the 4th millennium BC, the ancient Mesoamerican civilization of the Maya reached its peak between A.D. 250 and 900 when they ruled over large swathes of southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize.
Famed for developing hieroglyphic writing and an advanced astronomical system, the Maya then began a slow decline, but pockets of the civilization continued to flourish until they were finally subjugated by the Spanish in the 17th century.
Today, ethnic Maya are estimated to number at least 7 million in Mexico, Guatemala and other parts of Central America.
Mexico’s government forecast around 50 million tourists from home and abroad would visit southern Mexico in 2012, Reuters news agency reported. Up to 200,000 were expected to descend on Chichen Itza, the center of the universe, on Friday, December 21.
“It’s a date for doing business, but for me it’s just like any other day,” said drinks vendor Julian Nohuicab, 34, an ethnic Maya working in the ruins of the ancient city of Coba in Quintana Roo state, not far from the beach resort of Cancun.
Thousands of miles away, the France government wishes more people think that way. French authorities appealed to ‘end of the world’ fanatics not to visit the tiny southwest village of Bugarach.
Police have 150 officers guarding the nearby mountain which legend has it will open up when the so-called apocalypse takes place on Friday, December 21.
Further East, some saw the end-of-the world predictions as a reason to celebrate: In Russia’s capital Moscow, for instance, a Soviet-era nuclear bunker was turned from a museum into an exclusive ‘end of the world’ party venue, with tickets selling for as much as 750 euro ($1,000).
The bunker was been decked out with club lights and a bar, while other ‘end of the world’ activities from around the globe could be monitored on huge TV screens.(With reporting from Mexico and Russia).