General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 8 May 2021/9 Flower
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1st month in the Aztec farming calendar

The Aztec first ‘month’

The first of a series of short pieces that Zoe Ann Steenberge has kindly sent us, detailing the main points of the 18 months in the Aztec/Mexica ‘xiuhpohualli’ or farming/solar calendar.

Atlacacauallo, (also known as Cuahuitlehua and as Xilomanaliztli)

Atlacacauallo is the first month of the Aztec year and corresponds (approximately) with the dates of February 12th-March 3rd in our calendar. In Náhuatl ‘atlacacauallo’ means ceasing of water.
The gods who were honored during this month were Tlaloc the rain god whose name means “He who makes things grow”, Chalchiuhtlicue, goddess of water whose name means, “The lady of the jade skirt”, and Xipe Totec, god of spring who only gets a minor sacrifice during this time. His name means “Our lord the flayed one.”

The ceremonies for the bringing of rain from the abode of Tlaloc included the sacrificing of children through drowning and another included children who were either prisoners or slave children who were bought from their parents four years in advance. These children were paraded seated in a litter in a circuit around the area seven times.

They were hit and pinched to make them cry because the more tears that fell the more rain they would have. These children were sacrificed by being suffocated after having liquid oil masks liberally put over their faces, mouths, and nostrils. This mask was congealed in cold water to solidify it, making a mask that could not be torn off.

The children were then placed in a tank of water dressed in green blue outfits and paper wings. They would rise and sink until they sank and suffocated under the water. The sacrifice to Xipe was made with only blunt weapons.

Image scanned from our own copy of Los Calendarios Mexianos by Mariano Fernández de Echeverría y Veytia, Museo Nacional de México facsimile edition, Mexico City, 1907.

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