Apocalypse parties around the world

2012-12-19 14:55

Paris - Diehard doomsayers will be scurrying to the nearest shelter in fear of a Mayan prophecy of the world's end this Friday, but many more from Delhi to Sydney will ring in the date by partying like there's no tomorrow.

One thing is certain: from off-the-shelf bunkers to "World's End" menus or trips to esoteric hot spots, December 21, singled out by the Mayan "Long Count" calendar as the end of a 5,000-year era, has spelled big business worldwide.

Across the Mayans' ancestral homeland, a vast swathe of Central America including parts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, "The End of the World As We Know It", or TEOTWAWKI, has been a shot in the arm for tourism.

Ancient Mayan sites

Ancient Mayan sites will be buzzing with activity on Friday, hosting ritual reenactments, conferences and sound-and-light shows - often against the backdrop of protests by indigenous groups who complain their culture is being hijacked.

But elsewhere around the globe there will be no shortage of shelters or shrines to host the fearful - or simply curious - crowds through the night.

Apocalyptic-minded folk in Brazil can head to the village of Alto Paraiso, a place pulsating with "mystical energy", as local lore would have it, that has been readying for the end for years.

An anti-Armageddon ceremony will take place on the Island of the Sun, in the middle of Bolivia's Lake Titicaca, the highest in the world, where legend has it the founders of the Inca empire were born.
And illuminati in Serbia are predicting that the pyramid-shaped mountain of Rtanj will glow on Friday night, which is also the solstice.

Europe

The village of Sirince in western Turkey has also become an apocalyptic magnet, with all 400 hotels in the vicinity fully booked. It is reputed to be doomsday-proof because the Virgin Mary is said to have risen to heaven from there.

Likewise the picturesque south Italian village of Cisternino, singled out by an Indian guru as a safe bet come the end of the world.

Or there is France's apocalyptic spot of choice, the Pic de Bugarach in the foothills of the Pyrenees, though the site is cordoned off to keep out the hordes, and a local hotel will set you back 1,500 euros (R16 795) - payable in advance.

Short of a sacred site to weather the doomsday storm, there is always the man-made option of a good old bunker.

For 30,000 rubles (R8240) per head, the wealthiest Muscovites can check into a Stalin-era communications bunker 65 metres underground, which is offering 300 people a 24-hour experience called "A chance to survive".

Local television has put up tickets for the bunker in a prize draw, and will be broadcasting live from inside on the night - like a world's end take on "Big Brother".

In eastern France, the underground galleries of Schoenenbourg fort --part of the World War II Maginot line of defence - will exceptionally be thrown open to the public.

United States

And in the United States, the growing ranks of "preppers" - who believe in planning for bad times, be it economic chaos or natural disasters --are more than ready for the end, if it comes, with everything from food stockpiles to pre-fabricated underground bunkers.

China, Hong Kong , South Korea and India

No-nonsense authorities in China have adopted a dim view of the Mayan prophesy, rounding up more than 400 members of the Christian group "Almighty God" who have been publicising the world's end.
But elsewhere in Asia, the end of times will be the best of times, featuring a techno soundtrack and fine dining.

In Hong Kong, the Aqua restaurant is promising to pick up the tab for its HK$2,112.12 (R2307) six-course meal if the apocalypse does appear at hand - though patrons will have to stump up if still alive at midnight.

"This is potentially the very last dance so you know you've got to be there!" reads one flyer for the Ssky Bar in New Delhi.

Raj Kumar Sharma, a Mumbai-based astrologer, dismissed the Mayan predictions, saying he detected "a lot of positivity around in the near future", and predicting World War III will break out by 2052.
But if the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse do descend on Earth, it seems one might be riding in on an invisible steed, miming a rodeo dance.

South Korean social networks have been buzzing with a spoof "prophecy", attributed to the 16th-century French seer Nostradamus, that ties "Gangnam Style" singer Psy to the Mayan apocalypse.
Ominously, believers note, the ever-climbing number of YouTube views for Psy's "Gangnam Style" video, currently at nearly 972 million, stands to hit the billion mark around December 21.

Australia

For its "end-of-the-world party", Sydney's Shelbourne Hotel suggests that "if it's curtains for us all, we might as well get loose and party this world away to the beat of a bass drum".

The mystical minded in Australia - where Prime Minister Julia Gillard has made a spoof video to announce the end of days - are laying on a Mayan solstice festival near Canberra featuring music and yoga.

- SAPA-AFP


 
Read more on:    travel international
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside Travel

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.

/News
 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.