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Mexica New Year

Mexica New Year

March 12, 2021 marks the Mexica (Aztec) New Year also called Yancuic Xihuitl and is celebrated by Nahua communities mainly from Mexico and El Salvador . Traditional celebrations consist of a sunrise ceremony. Lighting of candles, chants, and songs are important. Followed by Aztec dances and drums.

Everything in the New Year celebration and ceremonies have specific meanings. 2021 is Chicnahui Calli - The Ninth House. Callli Tonalehqueh located in San José, California hosts a large Mexica New Year celebration every year. They share the following image explaining the meaning of certain aspects of the ceremony and celebration:

Watch the 2017 Ceremony below:

Craft: Quetzalcóatl

Quetzalcóatl was one of the most important gods in ancient Mesoamerica. The god has the form of a snake with feathers, hence its name: Quetzal - feathered bird and Coatl - serpent. Quetzalcóatl is known as the god of wind and rain and as the creator of the world and humans alike.

Read More Here

We chose to craft Quetzalcóatl because House 9 (this year) in the Aztec calendar is also associated with the wind and rain.

Materials Needed:

Quetzalcóatl Template, Cardboard, Printer Paper, Blue Construction Paper, Feathers, Red Pipecleaner, Glue, Scissors

Set-Up Steps:

  1. Print the Quetzalcóatl Template and cut it out

  2. Fold your cardboard in half.

  3. Line-up template along fold and trace

  4. Cut the first half

  5. Fold cardboard over and trace other half, then cut out

  6. Cut the blue construction paper into square mosaic-like tiles


  1. Design the snake fangs with white printer paper

  2. Mold the red pipecleaner into a circle to form the eyes

  3. Glue the mosaic pieces onto the body

  4. Glue the feathers onto the head and body

Listen to music while you craft and remember to share your creations with us Nene Bilingüe:

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