Winter Solstice and Huitzilopochtli

Today’s the winter solstice, so …. Happy birthday, Huitzilopochtli! Mā panquetz!

For the Nahuas (“Aztecs”), the winter solstice was the birthday of Huitzilopochtli, patron god of the Mexica, lord of the sun and of combat.

It was a time of great celebration.

In the Mesoamerican calendar, this day fell at the end of the fifteenth 20-day month, Panquetzaliztli, meaning “lifting of banners,” from “pamitl” (“flag” or “banner” in its root form “pan-”) and “quetza” (“place” or “lift”). It marked the end of autumn, when the…