The civilizations of ancient Mexico used the most accurate calendars ever invented till very recent times. The priests, magicians and sorcerers were could also be called scientists and philosphers. Among their most important tasks was prophecy or the prediction of future events. Predicting the end of the current age or Fifth Sun where a great cataclysm was expected to destroy all life was the most important task. The philosophical acceptance of death as an integral part of the life cycle is the manifestation of the Mexican culture which most distinguises itself as we move towards a global culture.
The three days beginning October 31st are the most important set holidays for Carnaval.com which is dedicated to the promotion of annual universal people's events. As Carnival is the spring holiday the triumvirate of Halloween- All Souls- Day of the Dead is its counterpart to fall and as the dead will tell you. There can be no life without death. With the wonderful exception of New York's Greenwich Village parade there are no great parades beyond the schoolyard. On the other hand, the ritual processions inspired by Mexico's Dia de los Muertos are many and growing. On this page we examine two components: Calendar & Colors
|Day of the Dead & Aztec Calendar||Dia de Los Muertos
(31 Oct - 2 Nov)
previously fell on the ninth month of the Aztec Solar Calendar; however, the beginning of November works well as a match for the Aztec calendar, while also finding harmony with the Catholic and pagan traditions from Europe. It shares similarities with the Church's Feast of All Souls, where we can honor and better communicate with our community of souls, which includes those among us, souls in purgatory waiting to enter heaven and the triumphant souls who have already been admitted. It is a striking, vital 3-day holiday in honor of our collective soul, right in relation to both nature and society.
Halloween also has a connection with non-Christian worship, including a strong fear of death.
|SOLAR CALENDAR: 360 + 5
The Mexica worshiped gods and planned their festivals in a fixed eighteen month cycle, or "Xiuitl". The 18 month system fit neatly into the 365 day yearly cycle, with 5 days left over. The first day following the five day span marked the beginning of the next civil year. Religion maintained the five special holidays as unlucky for any attempted work.
The Egyptians had a similar 5 days period of time outside of time which are cited as the 5 days of Carnaval. These days were a time when the world was most likely to come to an end.
LUNAR CALENDAR: Every 52 years the calendars would synch
The late Maya cultures and the Aztec cultures used only a "short count" of years, starting each group of fifty-two - known as a "bundle" of years - as a new unit unlike the "Classic Maya" whose long count extended world history over the millenniums.
The first day of each month was a solemn day with no activity allowed or encouraged.
MONTH 9. July 23- Aug 11 TLAXOCHIMACO
The first mesoamerican civilization, the 3000 year-old Olmecs were skilled carvers of jade.
|AZTEC COLOR||Red = flowers, Quetzalcoatl. Cit Chac Coh, the Maya god of war, is a red puma.
Black = cold and arid, Tezcatlipoca. Black was the color for Uzin, the Maya death god, who wore black and yellow spots, and Tezcatlipoca is always black. Ixtilton, the god of lust, is black-faced, like the black-faced Aztec dancers who represented ghosts.
White = cold and arid, Mixcoatl.
Yellow = south, dry and spring, Huitzilopochtli and Mictantecuhti,
Blue-green (Turquoise) = prosperity, rain and storm gods like Tlaloc. Turquoise was the color of gods and royalty. Also the color of natural life and fecundity. Maya's clothing during the spring month Yaxkin, when fields were fired for sowing, was all turquoise.
|Color symbolism laden with cultural significance are key elements in reconfiguring reality through magical speech.
The Aztecs and the Maya had a color-direction system as complex as any culture. The system was widely adopted in pieces throughout North America. The militaristic Aztecs had many exception; while conceptually very similar to Mayan tradition, they made many changes as well.
The mestiza Mexican peasant weaves a pattern of four colors: red, blue, white and black. Both elements are significant in an Aztec and Mayan context: Xochiquetzal is the Aztec goddess of weaving and fertility (and Ixchel, for the Mayans), and in both cultures the act of weaving is considered "giving birth.'' The four colors chosen are the colors which represent the four cardinal directions in the Aztec and Mayan cultures and in most Mesoamerican cultures
The Mexican Marigold flower is the official flower of Dia de Los Muertos.