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Relief that the shortest day of the year wasn't our last

Matt Dunham / AP

A woman soaks up the sun after its rise at the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge, in southern England, as access to the site is given to druids, New Age followers and members of the public on the annual Winter Solstice, on Dec. 21. Doomsday hour is here and so still are we. According to legend, the ancient Mayans' long-count calendar ends at midnight Thursday, ushering in the end of the world. Didn't happen. "This is not the end of the world. This is the beginning of the new world," Star Johnsen-Moser, an American seer, said at a gathering of hundreds of spiritualists at a convention center in the Yucatan city of Merida, an hour and a half from the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza.

Kieran Doherty / Reuters

A reveler, dressed as a unicorn, celebrates the sunrise during the winter solstice at Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain in southern England, on Dec. 21. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, and the longest night of the year.

Matt Cardy / Getty Images

People cheer as the sun rises as druids, pagans and revelers celebrate the winter solstice at Stonehenge on Dec. 21, in Wiltshire, England. Predictions that the world will end today as it marks the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the ancient Maya calendar, encouraged a larger than normal crowd to gather at the famous historic stone circle to celebrate the sunrise closest to the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.

Kieran Doherty / Reuters

Druid Arthur Pendragon hugs a reveler during the winter solstice at Stonehenge on Salisbury plain in southern England, on Dec. 21. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, and the longest night of the year.

AP reports -- As the sun rose from time zone to time zone across the world on Friday, there was still no sign of the world's end — but that didn't stop those convinced that a 5,125-year Mayan calendar predicts the apocalypse from gathering at some of the world's purported survival hot spots.

Many of the esoterically inclined expected a new age of consciousness — others wanted a party. But, in some places said to offer salvation from the end, fewer people showed up than officials had predicted — much to the disappointment of vendors hoping to sell souvenirs. Continue reading.

Cosmic Log: No gloom or doom as crowds usher in new age at Maya monument

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