March 11/12 Mexica New Year (Yancuic Xihuitl): On this day, we honor the Mesoamerican New Year by holding a Tying of the Reeds Ceremony. Throughout history, our people have been the “keepers of time,” and we do this in order to honor that responsibility. Reeds are tied in bundles of 13. Every four bundles (52 years) a New Fire Ceremony is held (next New Fire in 2026).
March 21 Spring Equinox (Izcalli): On this day we hold a Sunrise Ceremony which falls on the 20 day calendar period of Atlacahualo, when mother Earth’s body is filled with water. Associated with this time is the Danza of Xipetotec (shedding of skin, signifying renewal) and the creation spirit honored is Tlaloc. The ceremony includes that of Xilomanaliztli, praying for the growth of corn.
April 22 Earth Day (Tonalilhuitl Tonantzin Tlali): This day is celebrated in solidarity with the rest of the world by practicing and promoting environmental awareness. It is the day for our Blue Corn Planting Ceremony for traditional use throughout the year.
May 4 Birth of Quetzalcoatl (Tonalpohuailhuitl Quetzalcoatl): On this day, we hold a Pilgrimage to honor the birth of Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, founder of the Toltec Civilization. However, we do not only honor him, but also his mother Chimalma (shield-bearer) who died a warrior’s death in giving birth to him. Together, they embody the spirit of Quetzalcoatl (knowledge of both heaven and Earth).
June 21 Summer Solstice (Tonaliztli): This event is honored through a Sunrise Ceremony held at the pyramid site at Hueco Tanks. It is a time that falls during the calendar 20 day period of Etzacualiztli, the sharing of beans and corn. During this time, the community is encouraged to share their belongings with each other as a celebration for warm weather and in preparation for future plans. Tlaloc is again honored for offering mother natures greatest gift to creation: rain.
July 26 Founding of Mexico-Tenochtitlan: On this day, Danza Azteca is held in honor of the Sun passing over the Zenith of the sky at noon. Our culture believes that this is the time in which the doorway was its most receptive to thoughts and prayers from creation. During the day, the Sun is represented as an Eagle descending down towards the sunset while at night, the Butterfly constellation also appears over the Zenith of the night sky. This creates the male-female duality in which our culture is based on. Our ancestors took this cosmic event as a sign to begin the settlement of what is now Mexico City.
August 12 Cuahutemoc’s last message (Nauatilamatl): On this day, through Danza Azteca, we honor the last message given to us by Cuahutemoc: our history’s “Young Grandfather.” Cuahutemoc was Tenochtitlan’s last War-Chief turned ruler of the empire after the arrival of the Sanish invasion. Before being tortured and killed by the Spanish, he instructed us to keep the traditions alive in secret and bring them back at the appropriate time so that our Sun may rise once again for future generations. He is the warrior who showed us that our culture is one that not even death can stop.
September 21 Fall Equinox: This day is celebrated by holding a Sunrise Ceremony at the pyramid site in Hueco Tanks. It falls during the 20 day cycle of Xocohuetzi (maturing of fruit). This is a time to give thanks for the fruition of all we have planted throughout the year (literally, morally, and spiritually).
Nov 2 Dia de los Muertos (Micailhuitl): A Temazcal and an Altar set-up is held on this day to remember and honor those who have passed on to Mictlan (the underworld). To our people, death was not something to be feared or ignored. Instead, our culture teaches us to celebrate, dance with, and honor death as just another part of the life cycle. In fact, it is part of our culture to not only celebrate death, but also eat it one sweet bite at a time.
December 12 Tonalilhuitl Tlecuauhtlacupe (Dia de Tonantzin): This day is held in celebration of the creative life force given to us by Tonantzin (Mother earth). An indoor ceremony and talking circle is held in order to honor all life given to us, especially by the female side of Ometeotl (the male-female life force in creation).
Dec 21 Itzticaliztli (Winter Solstice): This day is celebrated by a Sunrise Ceremony at the pyramid site at Hueco Tanks. This day falls on the 20 day cycle of Panquezaliztli (the risng of the flags). This is the time of year when Huitzilipochtli (hummingbird that leans to the left) is honored as the Sun hovers in its descent for 3 days before beginning to rise once again and bring back warm weather. Contrary to Western thought, Winter time for our people did not symbolize the end of the seasons, but rather the beginning (the birth of the Sun). It is a time for new beginnings.
February 21 Cuauhtemoc’s birthday (Tonalpohuailhuitl Cuauhtemoctzin): On this day, we honor the birth of the last (13th) Chief of Mexico-Tenochtitlan through a Danza Azteca prayer. At the tender age of 23, he led the last stance of Aztec forces against the Spanish invasion. Though the war was lost, the culture lived on, and continues to this day.