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How the world's Mayan apocalypse believers are waiting for the end

Around the world, believers are preparing for Doomsday this Friday - and restaurants are offering 'End of the World' specials.

Around the world, believers are preparing for Doomsday this Friday - with a senior Chechen politician saying, "Candles won't help you," to a panicky populace.

In China, dozens of believers have been arrested, and DVDs of 'apocalyptic propanda' seized.

Hotels near a Serbian mountain have seen hundreds of booking requests from believers who think a buried UFO might save them from doom on Friday.

In America, 'doomsday preppers' have fled to underground shelters - while TGI Friday is offering a 'Rib Eye to End All Rib-Eyes' as part of a special 'End of the World' menu.

In Britain, of course, most people have kept calm - with the AA advising motorists to allow extra time for their journeys as the end of the world approaches.

Here's how countries around the world have prepared for 'the end'.



China
The ‘Mayan apocalypse’ poses a serious danger in China – where 100 believers have been arrested for spreading rumours about the ‘end’ this Friday.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency said police arrested 101 believers and confiscated leaflets, DVDs and other apocalyptic propaganda in eight provinces across the country.

Nearly half of those detained are reported to be members of the group Almighty God, which is also called Eastern Lightning.

The group preaches that Jesus has reappeared as a woman in central China and has been accused of kidnapping and beating Christians to force conversions.


Russia
In Russia, fears over the 'Mayan apocalypse' prompted government minister Vladimir Puchkov to issue a statement saying that he had used "methods of monitoring planet Earth" to determine that the planet was not at risk.

Other politicians have been less reassuring.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said on his website, ""People are buying candles saying the end of the world is coming. Does no one realise that once the end of the world comes, candles won't help them?"

In the northern town of Chelyabinsk, believers have built a Mayan archway out of ice.

Other towns reported panic buying of essential supplies. The mining town of Novokuznetsk saw 60 tonnes of salt bought in one week as believers laid in supplies.

Serbia
Hundreds of doomsday believers have flocked to a 'mystical' mountain in Serbia where an alien pyramid supposedly lies buried.

Mount Rtanj, in the Carpathians, supposedly contains alien relics with a special power that will preserve people on Doomsday.

Local hotels have seen hundreds of booking requests.

"In one day we had 500 people trying to book rooms. People want to bring their whole families," hotel manager Obrad Blecic told The Telegraph.



                       [Related: How the Mayan apocalypse came from a magic mushroom trip]

France
The village of Bugarach, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, has become a focus for Doomsday believers - some of whom think the village will be the only part of Earth to survive.

Believers think that UFOs will rescue people from the impending apocalypse.

The local mayor has said that 100 gendarmes will seal the town from 19-23 December to keep out Doomsday cultists.

Mayor Jean-Pierre Lord said,"My message is very simple. I am telling people don't come here to Bugarach for a simple reason there will be nothing to see here. So I insist don't come here - there will mainly be the police here," he said.

Mexico's 800,000 ethnic Mayans have remained largely untouched by the hysteria (Image: Rex)


Britain
Britons have largely 'kept calm and carried on' - although some 'Doomsday preppers' are ready for the worst.

British sci fi author Edward O'Toole is so convinced disaster is inevitable that he has already moved to Slovakia to prepare for the end.

He says, “I think there will be a new Dark Age and I want my children to have a good chance of survival.”

Other organisations have kept a stiff upper lip.

The London Fire Brigade spokesman advised: "Fit a smoke alarm on each level of your home, then at least you might stand a chance of knowing that the end of the world is nigh ahead of those who don't.

"If you survive the apocalypse you'll be alerted to a fire more quickly should one ever break out."

The AA said: "Before heading off, take time to do the basic checks on your car and allow extra time for your journey.”

Mexico
Ethnic Mayans themselves are largely uninterested in the so-called ‘prophecy’.

The 800,000 Mayans who live in Mexico’s Yucatan area have been immune to the hysteria – but it has inspired some Mayans to take an interest in traditional beliefs.

“The Western belief in the end date ‘long count calendar’ has inspired a resurgence in interest in the Mayans’ own traditional beliefs in Mexico and Guatemala,” said Andrew Wilson, a University of Derby academic who studied the phenomenon.

Self-styled ‘Mayan Elder’ Hunbatz Men has written extensively about the calendar, and about how the Mayans had eight separate calendars – many extending far beyond the so-called ‘end date.’

Men, and other Mayans, do not predict the world will end on December 21.


America

The American government released a statement reassuring its citizens, saying "The Maya celebrated the end of every calendar cycle, they did not consider them as predictions of a global catastrophe."

'Doomsday preppers' in America are ready for apocalypse - but hotels and restaurant chains are also prepared.

T.G.I Friday's has an 'end of the world' special called "Last Friday" in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Washington D.C.

The "End-of-the-World" Menu offers a Mayan Margarita, the Last First Bite appetizer, the Rib-Eye to End All Rib-Eyes entree and Final Countdown dessert.

NASA has an entire website devoted to debunking the so-called 'Mayan Apocalypse' - particularly claims that a 'rogue planet' will collide with Earth.

The space agency claims that scientists would have been tracking any such object for at least a decade.

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