12/22/2012 02:31 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

End Of The World Parties: LA Breaks Out In Celebration As Doomsday Prediction Fails

| Read "Patrons at Hotel Maya in Long Beach party like it's the 'end of the world'"

If you're reading this, then the world didn't end Friday.

But that didn't keep people from getting anxious -- some even joyously excited -- about the thought of it being their last night.

"I freaked out about the end of the world for a long time," said Los Angeles resident Jason Spence. "When midnight came, I was like OK, cool.

"There aren't explosions in the street. No meteors coming down. God's not up in the clouds telling us all to behave. So I feel pretty good."

Spence felt so good about the day that he drove all over sunny Los Angeles County to take photos, ending with shots of the sunset from the slope of Mount Hollywood just outside of the Griffith Observatory, which hosted a "NOT the End of the World" event Friday.

Festivities included winter solstice lectures and late night shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. The observatory even stayed open until 12:01 a.m. to prove that life will still go on.

In other areas of Los Angeles, everything from house parties to raves and even a "giant marshmallow roast" in downtown were planned to ring in the end of the 13th baktun cycle of the ancient Mayan Long Count Calendar.

"Scientists can predict things like whether or not there's an actual threat of an asteroid crashing into our planet," said Laura Danly, the Griffith Observatory curator and astronomer.

"We observe over half a million asteroids and know their orbits in great precision. They're not going to hurt us any time soon. Science can make predictions about what poses us danger and what does not, and there is no danger for tonight or anytime soon by an asteroid, solar storms or planetary collisions."

The celebration of the failed prediction, however, did not put an end to the doomsayers who are now touting future apocalyptic events -- one as near as Sunday, according to an archaeologist with Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.

"It's interesting why people are so fascinated by the end-of-the-world dates," Danly said. "It must be part of human nature to look for some sort of big transition like that, but there is no scientific backing for things like that."

Ramona Martinez of Riverside said she and her friends stayed up late Thursday texting each other about the end of the world. When midnight hit and no Earth-shattering event happened, Martinez said they just shrugged off all the hype.

"We were just very 'whatever' about it," Martinez said.

Still, while many were scoffing at what they deemed a non-event, Karim Satta of Los Feliz believed there was plenty to celebrate. Satta is referring to the end of the 26,000-year cycle that marks when the Earth's axis completes a full cycle of precession, which he believes will bring refreshing energy to the universe.

"People keep saying nothing happened, but something even more exciting happened today," Satta said. "We're still here and we're entering an age of enlightenment. It's the new Golden Age."

(c)2012 the Daily News (Los Angeles)

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