Lifestyle & Belief

Guatemala invites Elton John, U2, Sting and more for 'end of the world' party


The crystal-coated skeletal remains of a human a sacrifice in Aktun Tunichil Muknal, a cave in the Cayo district of Belize.


Joshua Berman

If the world is going to end, why not spend your last day on Earth in sunny Guatemala?

According to the Tico Times, celebrities including Elton John, U2, Sting and more were invited to Guatemala to celebrate the end of the world on December 21. 

Culture Minister Carlos Batzin explained to the Times: “That day marks the conclusion of the Grand Cycle of the Mayan calendar – called 13 B'aktun – and the beginning of a new era of 5,200 years." Betzin added,  “We are at a turning point, a moment of opportunity, but overall of commitment, so that the natural order that the Mother Earth is going through parallels as human beings, our lives, our civilizations."

According to AFP, the ministry is billing the December 21 event as The "World Summit of Humanity," which aims to bring together "world leaders, thinkers, philosophers, scientists," as well as musicians.

In June GlobalPost writer John Otis noted in his end of the world analysis that there has been a renewed interest in Guatemala and the ancient Mayan ruins as the end of the world nears.

"A recent poll showed that one in 10 people across the globe think that the Mayan calendar foresees a December apocalypse. There’s been an upside to all this end-of-days hokum: it is expected to result in a surge of visitors to Guatemala and to the Yucatan peninsula in southern Mexico, the heart of the Mayan world. Officials in both countries — which have been hit hard by drug-related violence that has scared away foreign visitors — are predicting tourism will increase."

Perhaps Guatemala is banking on a few celebrities to increase visitor spending a little more, or maybe they'd just like to go out with a song. 

For more coverage on the end of days, visit our End of the World series page.