Southern California breaking news and trends

Around the world in 40 photos: Earth celebrates still being here

Druids Celebrate Winter Solstice At Stonehenge

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

AMESBURY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: A man gestures as he watches the sun rise, as druids, pagans and revellers take part in a winter solstice ceremony at Stonehenge on December 21, 2012 in Wiltshire, England. Predictions that the world will end today as it marks the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the ancient Maya calendar, encouraged a larger than normal crowd to gather at the famous historic stone circle to celebrate the sunrise closest to the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Druids Celebrate Winter Solstice At Stonehenge

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

AMESBURY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: Rollo Maughfling, the Archdruid of Glastonbury and Stonehenge, blows a horn as he conducts a ceremony as druids, pagans and revellers wait for the sun to rise as they take part in a winter solstice ceremony at Stonehenge on December 21, 2012 in Wiltshire, England. Predictions that the world will end today as it marks the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the ancient Maya calendar, encouraged a larger than normal crowd to gather at the famous historic stone circle to celebrate the sunrise closest to the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

BRAZIL-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR-WORLD

ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images

Rio de Janeiro residents celebrate the summer's first day as the sun rises at the Copacabana beach on December 21, 2012. Doomsayers hunkered down to await the coming apocalypse on December 21, but most took a lighthearted view of a Mayan 'prophecy' of the world's destruction, laying on stunts and parties to while away the end.

SERBIA-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR

ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images

A woman meditates by a site believed to broadcast strong electromagnetic fields in the village of Rtanj on December 21, 2012. A pyramid-shaped mountain in Serbia, believed by some to be a source of unusual electromagnetic waves that could shield it from catastrophe, was attracting record numbers of visitors ahead of the predicted Mayan apocalypse today.

SPAIN-MAYA-CALENDAR-CELEBRATION

PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images

A dancer dressed in a costume and a head-dress performs during a ceremony marking the end of the Mayan age, on December 21, 2012 in Madrid. Ceremonies are being held to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the new Maya Era on December 21.

GUATEMALA-MAYA-CALENDAR-TIKAL-CELEBRATION

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Guatemalan natives and visitors take part in a ceremony on December 21, 2012, celebrating the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age, at the Tikal archaeological site, Peten departament, 560 kms north of Guatemala City.

GUATEMALA-MAYA-CALENDAR-TIKAL-CELEBRATION

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images

A mayan shaman takes part in a ceremony on December 21, 2012, celebrating the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age, at the Tikal archaeological site, Peten departament, 560 kms north of Guatemala City.

COLOMBIA-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR

GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/Getty Images

A man takes part in a ceremony to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age, on December 21, 2012, at Bogota's main square, Colombia.

TAIWAN-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR

SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images

Children gesture in front of a replica of a Mayan pyramid before a count-down ceremony organized by the National Museum of Natural Science to help ensure the public it is not the end of the world, in central Taichung on December 21, 2012. A digital 'doomsday clock' on top of a two-storey replica Mayan pyramid erected at a museum in central Taiwan's Taichung city completed its countdown for the end of the world at 0600 GMT -- midnight in Mexico.

FRANCE-WORLD-BUGARACH-OFFBEAT

ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images

Sylvain Durif, presenting himself as the messanger of God and Christ, plays panpipes on December 21, 2012, in the streets of the French southwestern village of Bugarach, near the 1,231 meter high peak of Bugarach - one of the few places on Earth some believe will be spared when the world allegedly ends today according to claims regarding the ancient Mayan calendar. French authorities have pleaded with New Age fanatics, sightseers and media crews not to converge on the tiny village.

Druids Celebrate Winter Solstice At Stonehenge

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

AMESBURY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: People cheers as the time passes 11.11am, the time the Mayan Apocalypse was supposed to occur, at a ceremony following the traditional winter solstice celebrations at Stonehenge, on December 21, 2012 in Wiltshire, England. Predictions that the world will end today as it marks the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the ancient Maya calendar, encouraged a larger than normal crowd to gather at the famous historic stone circle to celebrate the sunrise closest to the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Druids Celebrate Winter Solstice At Stonehenge

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

AMESBURY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: A woman dressed as a unicorn watches the sun rise, as druids, pagans and revellers take part in a winter solstice ceremony at Stonehenge on December 21, 2012 in Wiltshire, England. Predictions that the world will end today as it marks the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the ancient Maya calendar, encouraged a larger than normal crowd to gather at the famous historic stone circle to celebrate the sunrise closest to the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

FRANCE-WORLD-BUGARACH-OFFBEAT

ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images

Residents selling snacks, give directions to a journalist on December 21, 2012, in the French southwestern village of Bugarach, near the 1,231 meter high peak of Bugarach - one of the few places on Earth some believe will be spared when the world allegedly ends today according to claims regarding the ancient Mayan calendar. French authorities have pleaded with New Age fanatics, sightseers and media crews not to converge on the tiny village.

BRAZIL-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR-WORLD

ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images

Homeless people sleep in a tent at Copacabana beach early on the summer's first day on December 21, 2012. Doomsayers hunkered down to await the coming apocalypse on December 21, but most took a lighthearted view of a Mayan 'prophecy' of the world's destruction, laying on stunts and parties to while away the end.

FRANCE-WORLD-BUGARACH-OFFBEAT

ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images

Disguised people party in front of the 1,231 meter high peak of Bugarach - one of the few places on Earth some believe will be spared when the world allegedly ends today according to claims regarding the ancient Mayan calendarto the dressed up as the Death walks, on December 21, 2012 in the French southwestern village of Bugarach. French authorities have pleaded with New Age fanatics, sightseers and media crews not to converge on the tiny village.

GUATEMALA-MAYA-CALENDAR-TIKAL-CELEBRATION

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Mayan shamans take part in a ceremony on December 21, 2012, celebrating the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age, at the Tikal archaeological site, Peten departament, 560 kms north of Guatemala City.

Druids Celebrate Winter Solstice At Stonehenge

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

AMESBURY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: A couple smile as they watch the sun rise, as druids, pagans and revellers take part in a winter solstice ceremony at Stonehenge on December 21, 2012 in Wiltshire, England. Predictions that the world will end today as it marks the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the ancient Maya calendar, encouraged a larger than normal crowd to gather at the famous historic stone circle to celebrate the sunrise closest to the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Druids Celebrate Winter Solstice At Stonehenge

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

AMESBURY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: A druid watches as the sun rises, as druids, pagans and revellers take part in a winter solstice ceremony at Stonehenge on December 21, 2012 in Wiltshire, England. Predictions that the world will end today as it marks the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the ancient Maya calendar, encouraged a larger than normal crowd to gather at the famous historic stone circle to celebrate the sunrise closest to the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

HONG KONG-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR-WORLD

ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/Getty Images

Yashen (R) and Neetu, staff of the bar Carnegie's, pose as they hold a flyer for the 'end of the world' party, in Hong kong on December 21, 2012. Doomsayers hunkered down to await the coming apocalypse on December 21, but most took a lighthearted view of a Mayan 'prophecy' of the world's destruction, laying on stunts and parties to while away the end.

SPAIN-MAYA-CALENDAR-CELEBRATION

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Dancers dressed in costumes and head-dresses perform during a ceremony marking the end of the Mayan age, on December 21, 2012 in Madrid. Ceremonies are being held to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the new Maya Era on December 21.

SPAIN-MAYA-CALENDAR-CELEBRATION

PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images

A dancer dressed in a costume and a head-dress performs during a ceremony marking the end of the Mayan age, on December 21, 2012 in Madrid. Ceremonies are being held to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the new Maya Era on December 21.

GUATEMALA--MAYA-CALENDAR-TIKAL-CELEBRATION

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images

A folkloric group performs during celebrations marking the end of the Mayan age, December 20, 2012 at the Tikal archaeological site, Peten departament, 560 kms north of Guatemala City. Ceremonies are being held to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the new Maya Era on December 21.

EL SALVADOR-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR

JOSE CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images

People gather at Tazumal Archeological site in the town of Chalchuapa, 70 km west of San Salvador, El Salvador on December 21, 2012 during a ceremony to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age.

HONDURAS-MAYA-CALENDAR-CELEBRATION

ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images

Indigenous people take part in a ceremony to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age, on December 21, 2012, in Las Sepulturas --a Mayan residential site--, in the surroundings of the Copan archaeological site, 400km northwest of Tegucigalpa.

HONDURAS-MAYA-CALENDAR-CELEBRATION

ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images

Indigenous people take part in a ceremony to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age, on December 21, 2012, in Las Sepulturas --a Mayan residential site--, in the surroundings of the Copan archaeological site, 400km northwest of Tegucigalpa.

COLOMBIA-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR

GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/Getty Images

People take part in a ceremony to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age, on December 21, 2012, at Bogota's main square, Colombia.

GUATEMALA-MAYA-CALENDAR-TIKAL-CELEBRATION

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Mayan shamans take part in a ceremony on December 21, 2012, celebrating the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age, at the Tikal archaeological site, Peten departament, 560 kms north of Guatemala City.

HONDURAS-MAYA-CALENDAR-CELEBRATION

ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images

A couple meditates during celebrations for the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age, on December 21, 2012, in the Copan archaeological park, 400km northwest of Tegucigalpa.

TAIWAN-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR

SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images

Students from the middle school cheer in front of a replica of a Mayan pyramid before a count-down ceremony organized by the National Museum of Natural Science to help ensure the public it is not the end of the world, in central Taichung on December 21, 2012. A digital 'doomsday clock' on top of a two-storey replica Mayan pyramid erected at a museum in central Taiwan's Taichung city completed its countdown for the end of the world at 0600 GMT -- midnight in Mexico.

SERBIA-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR

ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images

A local vendor sells herbs for tea and brandy in the village of Rtanj on December 21, 2012. A pyramid-shaped mountain in Serbia, believed by some to be a source of unusual electromagnetic waves that could shield it from catastrophe, was attracting record numbers of visitors ahead of the predicted Mayan apocalypse today.

SERBIA-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR

ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images

Tourists and journalist gathered on the place believed to broadcast strong electromagnetic fields in the village of Rtanj on December 21, 2012. A pyramid-shaped mountain in Serbia, believed by some to be a source of unusual electromagnetic waves that could shield it from catastrophe, was attracting record numbers of visitors ahead of the predicted Mayan apocalypse today.

COLOMBIA-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR

GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/Getty Images

People take part in a ceremony to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age, on December 21, 2012, at Bogota's main square, Colombia.

EL SALVADOR-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR

JOSE CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images

An indigenous woman makes a fire ritual at Tazumal Archeological site in the town of Chalchuapa, 70 km west of San Salvador, El Salvador on December 21, 2012 during a ceremony to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age.

EL SALVADOR-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR

JOSE CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images

A couple wears traditional Mayan costumes at Tazumal Archeological site in the town of Chalchuapa, 70 km west of San Salvador, El Salvador on December 21, 2012 during a ceremony to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Bak'tun 13 and the start of the Maya new age.

Pyrenean Village Of Bugarach On the D-Day Of Mayan Prophecy

Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images

BUGARACH, FRANCE - DECEMBER 21: People dressed as aliens pose for the camera after the time passed 11.11 am, the time the Mayan Apocalypse was supposed to occur in Bugarach village on December 21, 2012 in Bugarach, France. The prophecy of an ancient Mayan calendar claimed that today would see the end of the world, and that Burgarach is the only place on Earth which will be saved from the apocalypse. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images).

TURKEY-CULTURE-CALENDAR-MAYAN-OFFBEAT

BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

Turkish villagers dance with their traditional clothes in Sirince, a village in western Turkey on December 21, 2012. Believers in the Mayan calendar’s doomsday prediction for December 21, 2012, are flocking to Sirince, a small village in Turkey's Izmir province, which some believe is the only safe haven from the impending apocalypse because the Virgin Mary is said to have risen to heaven from there.

ROMANIA-CHRISTMAS-APOCALYPSE-FEATURE

DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images

A girl wearing an elf hat holds a pancarte reading in Romanian 'The apocalypse didn't come, so better get a free hug from me', as she and her friends offer free hugs at a subway entrance in downtown Bucharest, on December 21, 2012.

TURKEY-MAYA-CULTURE-CALENDAR

BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

Tourists and residents walk through the streets of Sirince, a village in western Turkey, on December 21, 2012. As the village of Sirince waited for what some say is an apocalypse from which the tiny Turkish hamlet will be spared, its streets were teeming not with doomsayers but a hoard of disappointed journalists. Doomsayers have reportedly identified Sirince -- reputed to be the site from which the Virgin Mary ascended to heaven -- as a safe haven that will be spared destruction thanks to the positive energy flowing through it.

Pyrenean Village Of Bugarach On the D-Day Of Mayan Prophecy

Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images

BUGARACH, FRANCE - DECEMBER 21: A couple kissed after the time passed 11.11 am, the time the Mayan Apocalypse was supposed to occur in Bugarach village on December 21, 2012 in Bugarach, France. The prophecy of an ancient Mayan calendar claimed that today would see the end of the world, and that Burgarach is the only place on Earth which will be saved from the apocalypse. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images).

Pyrenean Village Of Bugarach On the D-Day Of Mayan Prophecy

Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images

BUGARACH, FRANCE - DECEMBER 21: A man dressed as an alien holds up a sign after the time passed 11.11 am, the time the Mayan Apocalypse was supposed to occur in Bugarach village on December 21, 2012 in Bugarach, France. The prophecy of an ancient Mayan calendar claimed that today would see the end of the world, and that Burgarach is the only place on Earth which will be saved from the apocalypse. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images).


Planetary "hot spots" deemed sacred by some, and of spiritual importance to others, were visited by the curious, the meditating, the souvenir sellers, the ritualistic and the news crews on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 in anticipation of a possible doomsday situation.

To the delight of many, the sun did on Friday what the sun does every Friday, time and time again, time zone after time zone.

All the while, the world continued to exist despite plentiful doomsday preditions tied to an interpretation of the conclusion of the 5,125-year Mayan calendar. 

Some individuals of esoteric persuasion digested the day as the dawning of new age of consciousness. Some just celebrated still having their Earth. (See photos above)

The Associated Press reports:

MEXICO

In an area of Mexico that was once the ancient Mayan heartland, spiritualists gathered in the darkness before dawn on Friday to prepare white clothes, drums, conch shells and incense. They believed the sunrise would herald the birth of a new and better age as a vast cycle in the Mayan calendar comes to an end.

Many people who came to Yucatan for the occasion were already calling it "a new sun" and "a new era."

FRANCE

According to one rumor, a rocky mountain in the French Pyrenees will be the sole place on Earth to escape destruction. A giant UFO and aliens are said to be waiting under the mountain, ready to burst through and spirit those nearby to safety. But there is bad news for those seeking salvation: French gendarmes, some on horseback, blocked outsiders from reaching the Bugarach peak and its village of some 200 people.

Eric Freysselinard, head of local government, said the security forces had "partially stopped the new age enthusiasts as well as curious people from coming to the area."

Meanwhile, some Bugarach residents dressed up like aliens, with tinfoil costumes and funnels and fake antenna on their heads, strolling around their village Friday to make light of the rumored UFO prophecy.

RUSSIA

Doomsday rumors have prompted some people across Russia to stock up on candles, water, canned foods and other non-perishable foods. The apocalypse has proven a good business, with some shops selling survival aid packages that include soap and vodka.

In Moscow, salvation has also been promised in the underground bunker for the former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin — with a 50 percent refund if nothing happens. An underground stay was originally priced at 50,000 rubles ($1,625) but dropped to 15,000 ($490) a week ahead of the feared end.

The bunker, located 65 meters (210 feet) below ground, was designed to withstand a nuclear attack. Now home to a small museum, it has an independent electricity supply, water and food — but no more room, because the museum has already sold out all 1,000 tickets.

BRITAIN

Hundreds of people have converged on Stonehenge for an "End of the World" party that coincides with the Winter Solstice.

Arthur Uther Pendragon, Britain's best-known druid, said he was anticipating a much larger crowd than usual at Stonehenge this year. But he doesn't agree that the world is ending, noting that he and fellow druids believe that things happen in cycles.

"We're looking at it more as a new beginning than an end," he said. "We're looking at new hope."

Meanwhile, end-of-days parties will be held across London on Friday. One event billed as a "last supper club" is offering a three-course meal served inside an "ark."

SERBIA

Some Serbs are saying to forget that sacred mountain in the French Pyrenees. The place to be Friday is Mount Rtanj, a pyramid-shaped peak in Serbia already drawing cultists.

According to legend, the mountain once swallowed an evil sorcerer who will be released on doomsday in a ball of fire that will hit the mountain top. The inside of the mountain will then open up, becoming a safe place to hide as the sorcerer goes on to destroy the rest of the world. In the meantime, some old coal mine shafts have been opened up as safe rooms.

On Friday a New Age group called "The Spirit of Rtanj" was holding a conference there. Participants, however, said they expect not the end of time but the start of a new time cycle. Locals turned out to sell brandy and herbs.

"There will be no tragedy, no doomsday," said resident Dalibor Jovic. "It was supposed to happen at 12:12 and I think that time has passed. So, we can now go on with our lives and be happy to be alive."

TURKEY

A small Turkish village known for its wines, Sirince, has also been touted as the only place after Bugarach that would escape the world's end. But on Friday journalists and security officials outnumbered cultists. This outcome disappointed local business people who had prepared a range of doomsday products to sell, including a specially labeled Doomsday wine and Turkish delight candy whose "best before" date was Dec. 21, 2012. One restaurant prepared a special "last meal" menu that included a "heaven kebab" and "forbidden fruit dessert."

ITALY

Another spot said to be spared: Cisternino, a beautiful small town in southern Italy in an area of trulli, traditional dry stone huts with conical roofs. The notion that Cisternino could be a safe haven at world's end derives from an Indian guru, Babaji, who said "Cisternino will become an island" at world's end. His followers built a community in Cisternino centered on an ashram built in 1979. Hotel bookings are up this weekend.

Mayor Donato Baccaro told the AP that the beauty of the place has inspired many foreigners to live there. "This confirms that this place has a special energy," he said.

CHINA

A fringe Christian group has been spreading rumors about the world's impending end, prompting Chinese authorities to detain more than 500 people this week and seize leaflets, video discs, books and other material.

Those detained are reported to be members of the group Almighty God, also called Eastern Lightning, which preaches that Jesus has reappeared as a woman in central China. Authorities in the province of Qinghai say they are waging a "severe crackdown" on the group, accusing it of attacking the Communist Party and the government.

U.S.

Dozens of Michigan schools canceled classes for thousands of students to cool off rumored threats of violence and problems related to doomsday. The fears were exacerbated by the recent shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, which "changed all of us," the school system in Genesee County said. "Canceling school is the right thing to do."

blog comments powered by Disqus