The end of the world — as it didn’t happen

As you have probably gathered, the world did not end yesterday.

A global day of light-hearted doom-themed celebration and superstitious scare-mongering culminated in the jungle temples built by the Mayan people of Central America, whose calendar sparked fears of an apocalypse.

Dec 21 marked the end of an era that lasted more than 5,000 years, according to the Mayan “Long Count” calendar. Some believed the date marked the end of the world as foretold by Mayan hieroglyphs.

Scholars say it just marks the end of the old Mayan calendar and the beginning of a new one, they say.

But that didn’t stop some 3,000 people from gathering at an ancient Maya stone pyramid in the Guatemala jungle, where actors in costumes and head-dresses staged elaborate dances to a mournful pan-pipe tune.

Around the world, doomsayers hunkered down to prepare for The End, but most took a lighthearted view of the Mayan prophecy.

“If you’re in an underground bunker with a lifetime’s supply of baked beans how stupid do you feel now?” asked one person on Twitter.

In the southern French village of Bugarach — rumoured to be one of the few places that will be spared when the end comes — journalists from across the world were bitterly disappointed at the lack of New Age fanatics to interview.

Police, however, arrested two men who had gas masks and machetes in their car as they approached the Pic de Bugarach, a nearby mountain.

Police had wrongly anticipated a mass influx of visitors and blocked access to the village and the mountain, which some say will open on the last day and aliens will emerge with spaceships to save nearby humans.

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