In a factory town near Moscow, scared citizens stripped shelves of matches, lighters, candles, batteries, and other survival gear as they prepare for what they feel is an imminent catastrophe.
This hysteria originates with the belief in the end of days scenario that some claim is prophesied by the fact that the 5,125 year cycle in the Mayan Calendar known as the Long Count will come to an end on December 21. So strong is the belief in the event that in Chelyabinsk in southern Russia, people are building a huge Mayan archway made of ice.
Russian officials have decided to put an end to the doomsday talk with official governmental decrees. This past Friday the Russian Minister of Emergency Situations said that he had special access to, "methods of monitoring what is occurring on the planet Earth..." and that his observations prove that the world is not going to end but that he acknowledged that Russians were still vulnerable to, "blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, floods, food supplies, losses of heat and electricity." Russian officials also said that they may prosecute any person within Russia who continues to spread rumors which frighten people... they argue that it is dangerous and irresponsible to spread such ridiculous rumors which serve only to create a sense of panic and disarray.
Officials from the Russian Orthodox Church have also made public announcements condemning the Mayan prophesy. They claim that while the End of Days will happen some day, it will not be because of some ancient calendar, it will be because of humanity's moral decline.
The place where there is the least amount of hype concerning this calendar is ironically in the Mexican Yucantan, the center of the ancient Mayan civilization. Officials there are planning celebrations not only for this year, but next year as well. They are hoping in cash in on the unique interest in the Mayans that this 'event' is bringing to the region.
See you all on December 22.... I hope!!!!!