NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hollywood has been portraying the end of the world on-screen for decades, and now we are only hours away from the real-life doomsday that was predicted by the Mayans.
But as the hours pass, predictions of doom and gloom fade, and parties increase.
People from around the world are flocking to Southern Mexico, ahead of the Dec. 21, 2012, doomsday date, CBS 2′s Kristine Johnson reported Thursday.
Crowds were surrounding the Chichen Itza and the Mayan ruins, but interpretations of the doomsday calculation vary. Mayans believe that the calendar signaled Dec. 21 as the end of one era, and Dec. 22 as the beginning of a new one.
“We say, some people believe it’s the end of the world. We believe and the Mayans believe, it’s the beginning of a new era,” explained former Mexican Tourism Minister Gloria Guevara.
Along with the doomsday prophecy are predictions that certain parts of the world will survive. Residents of a mountain village in France believe that the Peak of Bugarch will protect them. It is also believed that the village of Sirince in Turkey has the ability to stave off the apocalypse.
There is also money to be made. Some property owners have listed their homes for nearly double the previous sales price.
“This kind of opportunity doesn’t come always, all the time. So we are ready to get this chance,” explained Ali Gulumser, a Turkish businessman.
Most, however, are not taking the doomsday prediction seriously.
“On Dec. 21, all of our guests stay for free. In addition, it’s my birthday on the 21st of December,” said hotel owner Sevan Nisanan.
Star gazers in Mexico plan to welcome the new era with a ceremony at a Mayan pyramid.
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