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According to something I read, the Mayans didn't add leap year into the calendar. If you do the research and math, the Mayan long count calender came to an end around fifteen years ago.
I guess not many people noticed.
Well, the Mayans didn't predict 2012 either. It's a conversion.
And what they had slated wasn't the end of the world but the end of one long calendar with a party (and they had many calendars worked up).
The 2012 solstice time is significant in a few cultures as a calendar rollover. Some Cherokee and Mayans among them. But generally regarded as a big day of rebirth, an underworld god and the sun god duking it out, a lapse, and a change somehow dominated by peace and communication.
In Mayan tradition, the underworld god usurped by a rabbit (a kind of feminine trickster god) who steals the underworld god's crown and then defended by the sun god. In Cherokee, the Keeper of Mysteries arriving and a lapse in time while everything resets for the next phase.
Date wise, it's also smack dab in the middle of the annual Saturnalia, the festival when Rome's customs would be inverted and masters would serve slaves, gambling was permitted, and a carnival and festival of lights would be held.
So it's basically just a time of solstice upheaval, somewhat more significant in some native American cultures based on the year. (The Mayans started planning their party in the 7th century.)
The apocalypse angle mostly boils down to western Europeans always interpreting the end of anything as an apocalypse whereas more agrarian cultures often tend to see them as occasions for partying, fertility, and renewal.
The Mayans in particular had a calendar that accommodated more dates than the age of the universe according to modern physicists. And referenced dates that convert to dates after December 21, 2012. This is just a big calendar rollover, which happened very infrequently for them. Because they probably liked to downplay the idea of anything coming to an end and emphasized continuity.