Around the world Friday, believers, tourists and the curious are observing the end of a major cycle in the 5,125-year-old Mayan Long Count calendar that some predicted would be the end of the world.
Late Thursday, a ceremony was held in northern Guatemala at an ancient Mayan temple marking the end of a period known as the 13th Baktun.
While experts have debunked the notion, some books and films have interpreted the event to mean the apocalypse, or end of days and many places are acknowledging the day.
Early Friday, tourists flocked to the ancient Greek town of Sirince in western Turkey believed to be an area that will be spared the apocalypse.
Students take pictures of themselves in front of a mock pyramid during the countdown to when many believe the Mayan people predicted the end of the world, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, in Taichung, southern Taiwan.
In Taiwan, a countdown to the end of days was held near a replica of a Mayan pyramid.
Events were also held in other Central and South American nations where remnants of the Mayan culture persist.
In India, the rumours of doomsday inspired devotees and tourists to India's holy city of Varanasi to take shelter and offer prayers.
Some spiritualists say the end of Mayan calendar means the dawning of a new beginning for humanity, and December 21st will bring an era love and peace to the world.