Friday's date 11/11/11 sparks superstition, joy, and - for some - dread.
There are those who believe that 11/11/11, the triple convergence of 11s, is good luck. So they are rushing to tie the knot, or play the slots, or throw a penny into a fountain.
About 1,000 couples exchanged vows in Malaysia, where they believe this day is both romantic and propitious, according to the Wall Street Journal. And in China, a 1111 train took off on the No. 11 lines at 11:11 a.m. in Shanghai.
Thousands flooded Vegas, believing Lady Luck is on their side today.
But is there a more sinister meaning to the 11/11/11 alignment? Does it correlate with the 2012 Mayan Doomsday?
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The Mayan calendar concludes on Dec. 21, 2012, the day of the Winter Solstice. Some think this date will introduce a golden age of enlightenment and spiritual renewal. Others think this date marks the ends of days, the apocalypse.
Nov. 11, 2011 could be linked to Dec. 21, 2012 due to the time set by the U.S. Naval Observatory for the 2012 Winter Solstice, at 11:11 Universal Time on the 21st, according to John Hoopes, a scholar of Maya history at the University of Kansas.
Hoopes says that the correlation of 11/11/11 to 12/21/12 is established on the 11s in the time of the solstice. Does the number 11 hold some sort of power? Does its appearance reveal something?
It's essentially based on the notion of synchronicities, Hoopes said to LiveScience.
Hoopes says that although synchronicities can prove to be significant concurrences, those who believe in the 2012 doomsday prophecies typically experiment with psychedelics and cannabis, drugs that escalate feelings of synchronicity.
If it seems like the 2012 mythology was thought up by people on drugs, it's because it was, Hoopes said.
Numerological conspiracy theorists are rampant, particularly in the digital world, according to LiveScience. One example is 1111spiritguardians.com.
Despite how many believers think the Winter Solstice occurring at 11:11 is a major red flag, their rationale is now a bit off. The U.S. Naval Observatory currently lists the exact time for the solstice at 11:12 on Dec. 21, 2012. But this alteration does not seem to matter to 11/11-enthusiasts.
People are more likely to remember 11:11 than they are, say, 4:29 or 6:53 or 3:17 or something like that, Hoopes said. So, those who accept 11 as a profound number are likely to search for it anywhere, and stress any possible deeper context.
Individuals can go to great lengths to find the hidden meanings in things.
One Twitter feed posted: Today is 11/11/11. (111 X 111 = 12321)(1111 X 1111 = 1234321)(11111 X 11111 = 123454321). Interesting..
A 2012 doomsday site focused on 11s as well.
The sun having an 11.11 year cycle, the winter solstice of 2012 falling at 11:11 and people all over the world finding themselves bombarded with 11's [sic] just as science is predicting some kind of majestic solar event at the peak of this current cycle seems more than coincidence, writes 2012rising.com.
Many believe 11/11/11 is the start of something big. The buzz on the net and on Twitter and elsewhere is that 11/11/11 is the unofficial start of the 2012 metaphysical year, Hoopes said.
Hoopes himself does not know if 11/11/11 signifies anything, nor does he know if the end of the Mayan calendar signifies anything.
The reality is that the Mayas did keep track of large cycles of time, and there is a large cycle of time that began in 3013 B.C. on our calendar, and there are reasons to think that the cycle reaches a significant number on Dec. 21, 2012, says Hoopes to LifeScience.
The Mayans viewed time as a cyclical entity. Today, we view time as linear. This inherent different is something to note for those who feel impending doom when 2012 comes up.
Hoopes emphasizes that the Maya did not start prophesizing the end of the world until after they met the Christian missionaries. In the 1500s these doomsday predictions were popular once the Franciscan missionaries ventured to the New World, according to Hoopes.
In 1524, they believed there would be a Great Flood. They were actually preparing for this catastrophe by buying real estate on high places and by stocking up on whatever the 16th-century equivalent of duct tape and bottled water was, Hoopes said.
The world for the Mayas really did end in the Spanish conquest, he added. So they incorporated that into their explanation of what was happening to them.
So will Dec. 21, 2012 actually signify something momentous or final? Does Nov. 11, 2011 mark the beginning of the end?
Many people have taken to Twitter to discuss 11/11/11, which has morphed into a trending hashtag phrase Today is 11/11/11.
But no one seems too worried. In fact, many view today as something extraordinary.
Today is 11/11/11. Do something worth remembering posted one user. UK_BlackBerry wrote: The date today is 11.11.11 - this won't happen again for a hundred years! How are you marking this unique occasion?
And, the most lighthearted of the bunch, was a tweet from KFC. The Colonel (KFC_Colonel) posted: This 11/11/11 we're celebrating our 11 Herbs & Spices by giving it away! YOU could win KFC for a year!
As for Hoopes, he believes that something is happening. In the months and years to come, people may look back on this as an extraordinarily noteworthy time.
The world is changing because of this transformation of consciousness through the digital network, says Hoopes I would not be surprised if in the future people looked back and said, 'Oh yes, it was 2012 when all that happened.'
To read the full article and interview with John Hoopes, please visit LifeScience.