According to doomsayers the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. This projection is based on the Mayan calendar, which abruptly runs out of days about the same time many of us are busy wrapping presents in expectation of surviving to Christmas. The Mayan calendar began its long countdown way back in 3113 BC.
Some people take this prediction serious, but they need to no longer be afraid. Thanks to me there will be no apocalypse.
Bear with me while I explain.
The calendar we non-Mayans use is the Gregorian calendar, and have been since 1582 when it replaced the ‘faulty’ Julian calendar, which replaced the even more unreliable Roman calendar.
The Roman calendar consisted of 12 months for a total of 355 days. The new Julian months were formed by adding ten days to the Roman year of 355 days, creating a Julian year of 365 days with a leap day added to February every four years (a leap year). This made the Julian year 365.25 days long, on average. The Julian calendar thus introduced an error of one day every 128 years.
The Gregorian calendar reformed the Julian calendar because of this error and the Gregorian reform consisted of the following changes:
- 10 days were dropped in October 1582.
- The rule for calculating Leap Years was changed to include that a year is a Leap Year if:
- The year is evenly divisible by 4;
- If the year can be evenly divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, unless;
- The year is also evenly divisible by 400. Then it is a leap year.
Did you see that? I’ll repeat it: 10 days were dropped in October 1582.
The Gregorian dropped 10 days to bring the calendar back into synchronization with the seasons. The last day of the Julian calendar was Thursday, 4 October 1582 and this was followed by the first day of the Gregorian calendar, Friday, 15 October 1582.
So the prediction that the world will end on 21st of December this year – based on the Mayan calendar – is not only incorrect but a big fizzer. Taking into account the 10 days dropped from our calendar, the end of days should have been on the 10th of December.
The Mayans definitely didn’t see that one coming.
We can all relax now. I’ve just saved the world.
Already people have taken to the streets in celebration.