21 December 2012 19:45 | By AFP, MSN IES
PHOTOS: Defying the Mayan apocalypse

Around the world, superstitious people have fretted over a quixotic, not to say apocalyptic, interpretation of the calendar -- taking refuge in mountains or bunkers, with some stockpiling guns and survival rations.

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Or perhaps the end of the world, depending on your point of view.

At the site, there were no signs that doomsday -- the stark scenario conjured by proponents of one minority reading of the ancient Mayan calendar that underlies the festivities -- was imminent.

The mystery stems from a carved stone found in Tortuguero, a Mayan site in Mexico. The relief contains a cryptic allusion to something really big happening on Friday.

However, most experts interpret the calendar to mean December 21, 2012 is simply the end a 5,200-year era for the Maya and the start of another.

This reading says that Friday marks the end of 13 cycles with which they measured time -- each lasting 400 years.

If that's right, everybody can relax and enjoy the ceremonies as folklore.

Well, we can still take a look at how people around the globe prepare for the much anticipated doomsday.

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