By Michael Evans.
With less than ten days until the end of the world, it seems that Mayan doomsday madness has firmly taken root in China.
In Fujian province, six people were arrested this week for selling charms written on red paper disks, which they claimed could protect buyers from next week’s disaster.
Four people in Fuzhou, also in Fujian, were detained for “disturbing public order” by warning pedestrians of the impending doomsday, CCTV reported Wednesday.
The four handed out red dates and walnuts to passersby, encouraging them to sign their names and phone numbers in a “Book of Life” to survive the coming cataclysm.
Others have taken their salvation into their own hands. A farmer in Hebei province has begun constructing a globe-shaped “Noah’s Ark” capable of holding 30 people. Liu Qiyuan of Xianghe County says that his ark is fire-proof and water-proof, protected by 30 layers of fiber resin.
Liu’s ark bears a striking and likely not coincidental resemblance to an ark unveiled in August by Zhejiang entrepreneur Yang Zongfu.
In little more than a month, Yang received 21 orders from customers interested in buying their own custom-built arks, the most expensive of which came at a price of 5 million yuan.
Meanwhile, an internet company in Chengdu grabbed headlines with an announcement last Wednesday that employees would be given a two-day “end of the world vacation” on Dec. 20 and 21, suggesting that workers “take advantage of this ‘final’ time to spend more time with your closest family.”
The news was quickly followed by similar decisions by a Henan women’s hospital and a company in Qingdao, which further announced that all employees would be given a 2,000 yuan “doomsday bonus.”