Friday at 5:12 a.m., San Antonio experiences the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. Precisely at that moment, the sun will be directly above the Tropic of Capricorn and the North Pole tilts 23.5 degrees away from the sun, resulting in the longest night and shortest day of the year. It marks the first official day of winter.
This year’s Winter Solstice also has captured millions of imaginations as the day the world ends.
Millions of people–2% of the U.S. population by one survey–believe the world will end tomorrow, December 21, 2012.
NASA made this “Why the world didn’t end yesterday” video to be released December 22, but released it early to quell doomsday fears:
The notion that the end of days has arrived has existed probably as long as the earth itself–about four billion years. The Christian Post recently published a list of 10 relatively recent flirtations with the apocalypse that have troubled civilization–beginning in 1806 in Leeds, England, with a hen that presumeably laid eggs inscribed with the words “Christ is Coming.” Turned out a prankster had been autographing the eggs, then shoved them back up into the poor bird’s body.
Halley’s Comet, TV preacher Pat Robertson, Y2K, and last year’s Harold Camping’s Biblical Armeggadon also made the Doomsday prediction list.
This year’s apocalypse paranoia results largely from a false reading of the Mayan calendar. The calendar ends a cycle this year, but will flip to a new cycle–“like an odometer,” according to a video released by NASA. The misinterpretation has led to beliefs that a 13th planet called Nibiru, the existence of which has not even been proven astronomically, will collide with Earth. Sellers of survival gear, “doomsday pods” and apocalypse kits are whistling cha-ching for their robust year-end windfall.
We plan to celebrate the Solstice and the continuation of life on Earth with several holiday parties and our annual rite of making seedballs for the 2013 wildflower crop.
What about you? No plans yet?
We’ve collected a few Solstice/Doomsday possibilities for consideration:
1. Too bad the concert that the Celebration Circle is hosting at Cave Without a Name in Boerne is sold out this Saturday. The amazing cavern supposedly has perfect acoustics and would be a fantastic setting for hearing the sounds of Native American flute, Tibetan bowls, keyboard, cello and percussion. However, the Circle does have room at its Friday Night for Shantikar: Solstice Chants. The FREE event takes place Friday, 7:30 – 9:30 PM, at the Quaker Meeting House, 7052 Vandiver. Call 210.415.6621 for more info on the call-and-response chants, which will feature Indian music with harmonium, sarode and drums.
2. San Antonio Enviornmentalists will have a Mayan Apocalypse Party on Friday at 6:30 PM. “Come hang out and watch the end of the world as we know it!!! Even if planet Nibiru misses us and zombies don’t pop out of the ground, at least we’ll have fun hanging out with like minded people,” reads the teaser on their Meet-Up page. It’s BYOB and food, as well as camp chairs. Address to be sent by email once you register.
3. Yoga devotees, dancers and other New Age fanciers might want to drop by Synergy Studios at the Pearl Friday morning for a special Winter Solstice session taught by Zet Baer and Jan Jarboe-Russell. The class begins at 8 AM and will include a guided tour “through a hypnotic trance with dance of transformation.” Cost: $15. Learn more on their Facebook page.
4. Runners can participate in the End of the World Night Race 5K, Friday at 6:45 PM, and the rest of us can watch. The race begins at Joske’s Pavillion, 3700 N. St. Mary’s. Cost is $40 for adults, kids get to run one mile for free. Prizes will be awarded for the “best Dooms Day Prepper and Best survivor.”
5. Theater buffs can commemorate the Solstice with a Zombie Apoclypse Christmas show at the Rose Theater. The website describes the one act play as “A deeply silly, very funny one act. In it, Santa is revealed to be quite the zombie hunter, a mission he shares with Axel Rose and Snoop Lion.” Show starts 9 PM Friday and Saturday, tickets cost $10 – $12.
6. And for those who party hardy, how about an End of the World Party at the Evil Olive? You can party like it’s 1999 with music from Houston-based Synth-pop band Provision, DJ Hans 242 with John Boyd of Passing Strangers, and Electro group Absynthe. Go-Go dancers, an “Apocalyptic Art show,” champagne at midnight and surprises throughout the evening. The wild rumpus begins at 7 PM and continues til 2 AM, 2950 THousand Oaks, #5. No cover.