I like to imagine the following conversation at one point happened.
"Hey guys, I found the last piece of the calendar!" "Wait, it ends?!" "Well, obviously. Their whole society pretty much crumbled, plus the wars and droughts..." "HOLY CRAP WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIIIIIEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" "Damnit, Larry! Not again!"
many of those old civilizations were keen on the sun, moon, stars, etc positions, and used them in various meaningful ways. i have a feeling that since today (it's already friday afternoon here in japan) is the winter solstice--an important seasonal milestone--it isn't just a coincidence their calendar would also end on a major day; perhaps not unlike our calendars ending on new year's eve.
The Mayans have what's called a long count calendar which is circular in shape and used to measure out several thousand year periods, it starts at day 1 and continues around the circle until it hits day 1 again this is the end of a long count period and the calendar resets, the day the calendar resets is December 21st 2012.
The Mayans never intended this to be an end of the world scenario but just a resetting of the calendar. It's exactly the same as you putting up a new calendar on January 1st when your previous one ends on December 31st; it's the beginning of a new cycle (a new years day for the mayans if you will) that was accompanied by a festival. Somewhere along the line someone heard that it ended on December 21st 2012 (it does not end it resets) and then the rumor of the Mayans predicting the end of the world spread like wildfire, because we all love doomsday scenarios.
Just as I figured, nothing happened. Makes me wonder why anyone believes this end of the world crap.
Seriously, I bet the Mayans would have just updated their calendar if they'd been around longer And hey, why do people even act like these groups and civilisations from years ago are somehow 'right' or more intelligent or whatever? They made just as many stupid mistakes as every other group of people on the planet, and yet seemingly far less people bought into the whole biblical apocalypse predictions thing.
I can't believe this stuff actually made headline news. Yesterday they were interviewing people talking about aliens coming down to take them away. Totally nuts. It's been given way more attention than it deserved.
PM me and I'll add you to my 3DS - feel free to add my NNID for WiiU too!
I kept telling people that the Mayans never said a damn thing about the world ending. Ask any surviving Mayan community today and you'll get the same response: no apocalypse. They keep getting blamed for the stupidity of others.
If anything, this is still a very special day of celebration since we all are extremely lucky to be alive to witness the Mayan calendar reset itself for the very first time in thousands of years.