Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Winter Traditions and Holidays Part 24 - Huitzilopochtli

Diego Duránhttps://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3e/Huitzilopochtli_V.png/220px-Huitzilopochtli_V.png for Huitzilopochtli

  • Is a Mesoamerican deity of war, sun and human sacrifice
  • He was the primary god of war in ancient Mexico. Since he was the patron god of the Mexica, he was credited with both the victories and defeats that the Mexica people had on the battlefield.
  • The people had to make sacrifices to him to protect the Aztec from infinite night.
  • Huitzilopochtli is seen as the sun in mythology, while his many male siblings are perceived as the stars and his sister as the moon. In the Aztec worldview, this is the reason why the Sun is constantly chasing the Moon and stars.
  • It is also why it was so important to provide tribute and thus sustenance for Huitzilopochtli, and thus the sun. If Huitzilopochtli did not have enough strength to battle his siblings, they would destroy their mother and thus the world.
  • Huitzilopochtli was said to be in a constant struggle with the darkness and required nourishment in the form of sacrifices to ensure the sun would survive the cycle of 52 years, which was the basis of many Mesoamerican myths.
  • Diego Durán described the festivities for Huitzilopochtli. (7 December to 26 December).
  • People decorated their homes and trees with paper flags; there were ritual races, processions, dances, songs, prayers, and finally human sacrifices.
  • This was one of the more important Aztec festivals, and the people prepared for the whole month. They fasted or ate very little; a statue of the god was made with seeds and honey, and at the end of the month, it was cut into small pieces so everybody could eat a little piece of the god.
  • After the Spanish conquest, cultivation of amaranth was outlawed, while some of the festivities were subsumed into the Christmas celebration

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