The clock strikes midnight, the hallowed date arrives and, once again, the apocalypse fails to turn up on schedule.
For such a cataclysmic event, the projected end of the world has come around with surprising regularity throughout history.
Each time a group of believers has been left bewildered at the absence of all-consuming death and devastation.
If they've taken the warnings seriously enough, they will have sold their homes, abandoned earthly civilisation's material trappings and braced themselves for the arrival of a new era.
The latest date to herald widespread alarm is 21 December, which marks the conclusion of the 5,125-year "Long Count" Mayan calendar.
Around the world, precautions are being taken.
Panic-buying of candles has been reported in China's Sichuan province. In Russia, where sales of tinned goods and matches have surged, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has urged his countryfolk to remain calm.