Aztecs Festivals Essay

758 words - 4 pages

The one I know is the "Origins of the Day of the Dead".

The ancient Aztec Day or Days of the Dead was the target of systematic attempts at assimilation by the Christian conquerors of Latin America. However, unlike the Celtic festival Samhain, the Day of the Dead was more successful in resisting these efforts at incorporation.
The precise origins of "Los Dias de los Muertos" are lost in the shadows of prehistory. Possibly it goes back to the Olmecs, a civilization of south-central Mexico but dominant throughout the region from 1200 to 400 BC. The Olmecs are the progenitors of many Mesoamerican or Middle-American cultures, like the Aztec, Maya, Toltecs, and Zapotec, Mixtec, etc.
We can ...view middle of the document...

At the third rain festival, Aztec people formed shapes of small mountains and images of the god, Tlaloc, as he was thought to live in a high mountain.

As superstitious modern folklore has it, during the Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968, it poured with rain, because of a certain act of some students who created a statue of Tlaloc and sat on its top. Legend has it that Tlaloc did not quite approve of this and the sky came down during the Olympic Games held in the city that year.

The Aztec calendar divided the year into 18 months of 20 days each, plus a five-day "unlucky" period. The Aztecs also knew a ritualistic period of 260 days, made up of 13 months with 20 named days in each. When one cycle was superimposed on the other, a "century" of 52 years resulted.

At the end of each of these 52-year cycles, the Aztecs were scared that the world would come to an end, therefore the most impressive and important of all festivals was held in these periods. Widely known as the New Fire Ceremony, this Aztec festival involved the putting out of the old altar fire and the lighting of a new one, as a symbol of the new...

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