End of the Mayan Calendar: The Facts

From the December 20, 2012 edition

We’ve all heard vagaries about the Mayan calendar ending this Friday and how that supposedly means doomsday is nigh. But is there any factual basis to such claims?

Not according to NASA. Here’s how America’s spacemen explained it at nasa.gov: “Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then — just as your calendar begins again on January 1 — another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.”

Dec. 21 is the winter solstice, aka the first official day of winter, aka the shortest day of the year. The Mayan calendar is built around seasonal changes. It’s not that the calendar ends; the Mayans just hadn’t gotten around to carving out the next section yet.

There’s also no evidence that a planet called Nibiru exists, or that it’s on a collision course with Earth. It’s all conjecture, but certainly a great excuse to party hard this Friday.