People across the globe have been celebrating a day that perhaps seems like more of a reason to fear than to get excited. That’s because it is that day that denotes the End of the World.
Except that, so far, although the End of the World was predicted to happen on this day more than a decade ago, it actually didn’t. So maybe that’s an even better reason to celebrate!
History of End of the World
Various people from different cultures have been predicting apocalyptic events for many years – probably since the beginning of time! And, to state the obvious, none of them have ever come true. But as communication has become easier, these types of predictions and prophecies have become more well known all over the globe.
This particular End of the World Day got its start with a radio presenter and numerologist named Harold Camping who announced that the world would be ending on May 21, 2011. Camping was also the president of the Family Radio network at the time and used his influence to announce that both May 21 and October 21 would be important days of doom. The radio personality claimed that his calculations were based on biblical predictions and he even took out thousands of billboards to say that “the Bible guarantees it”.
What is particularly notable about Camping is that this was not the first time he had predicted the End of the World. Nor was it the second. In fact, he had previously predicted the date for May 21, 1988. Then it was September 6, 1994 but when that didn’t happen, he moved the date to September 29 and then again to October 2.
By 2005, when Camping made another prediction, the increased access of the world through the internet made his prediction for 6 years later, on this day in 2011, a great deal more hype was created. After the events did not occur as he predicted, Camping mostly avoided news outlets and the press.
While Camping had some followers, the majority of Christian groups and teachers denied that these predictions for the End of the World held any accuracy, and he was mostly dismissed.
Sadly, some damage was still done by Camping’s false predictions; many of his followers were encouraged to sell their property, quit their jobs, or run up credit card debt. Some spent large amounts of money supporting his claims. And there were even reports of a few tragic deaths related to the incident.
Later, in a private interview, Camping admitted that his attempts to predict the End of the World were not valid and that no one could know the time that the world will end. Just over two years after his final false prediction, Harold Camping died at the age of 92, from complications caused by a fall.
This End of the World day has continued to be a time that has been observed by various people all over the globe. Whether they feel it is an important opportunity to give a word of caution to others who might fall prey to false predictions, or more of a tongue-in-cheek way to be reminded not to take life so seriously after all, End of the World is worth taking note of!
How to Celebrate End of the World
Looking to celebrate and pay homage to the End of the World? Well, certainly a ton of ideas could be created to do so, but here are a few to get started with:
Throw an End of the World Party
Just in case Harold Camping had the right date but was a bit unclear on the year, perhaps it would be fun to host a gathering. This could either be having a small group over at home – or a huge street party would do nicely as well! Grab friends, family members, neighbors, or even some total strangers and get to celebrating with music, food, costumes, dancing and more. After all, if the End of the World is near, go ahead and have some fun!
Make a Bucket List
Okay, so perhaps the End of the World didn’t actually take place on May 21, 2011. And maybe it isn’t coming very soon at all. But it is still important to remember that life is short, even if the whole world isn’t ending. Every person has a limited number of years and perhaps this is the right time to reflect on how those years are spent.
Creating a bucket list of things that would be great to accomplish before dying (or before the world ends) might be a perfect way to pay respect for this day. Then, once the list is created, share it with a friend, see which ones are overlapping, and then perhaps make plans to accomplish some of these items together – before the End of the World happens!
Create an End of the World Playlist
Music is a great way to bring in the End of the World. Whether preparing for catastrophe or just having a little bit of fun at work, it’s great to have a soundtrack to help get through the day. Check out some of these fun songs that would be a great start to a playlist on Spotify, Apple Music or some other preferred platform:
- It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by REM (1987). Released on the band’s album Document, this song may just need to be played on repeat all day long!
- 1999 by Prince (1985). In the mid-eighties, when the end of the millennium seemed like it could be the end of the world, Prince’s suggestion was that everyone should party.
- Until the End of the World by U2 (1991). Reflecting on their Irish religious roots, the band sings this song from the perspective of Judas, the betrayer of Jesus.
- Doomsday Clock by Smashing Pumpkins (2007). This song hails from the band’s album Zeitgeist, offering an overall theme about the Apocalypse.