The Great Aztec Calendar

The Days and their Names:
The Aztec year consisted of 18 months divided by 20 days, in addition to five days called Nemontemi. The day symbols were taken from nature. Starting from where number 2 points, and going clockwise around the same ring.

  • 20th day Xochital (flower)
  • 19th day Quiahuitl (rain)
  • 18th day Tecpatl (flint knife)
  • 17th day Ollin (earthquake)
  • 16th day Cozcacuahtli (buzzard)
  • 15th day Cuauhti (eagle)
  • 14th day Ocelotl (jaguar)
  • 13th day Acatl (reed)
  • 12th day Malinalli (grass)
  • 11th day Ozomatli (monkey)
  • 10th day Itzcuintli (dog)
  • 9th day Atl (water)
  • 8th day Tochtli (rabbit)
  • 7th day Mazatl (deer)
  • 6th day Miquiztli (death)
  • 5th day Coatl (snake)
  • 4th day Cuetzpallin (lizard)
  • 3rd day Calli (house)
  • 2nd day Ehecatl (wind)
  • 1st day Cipactli (crocodile)

  • The Cardinal Points:
    3.  The symbol of the North: Date 1 Tecpatl (1-obsidian knife).
    14. The symbol of the East: The Xiuhuitzolli
    15. The symbol of the West: Date 7 Ozomatli (7-monkey)
    16. The symbol of the South: Date 1-Quiahuitl (1-rain)

    The Suns or Cosmic Eras:
    4.  The Jaguar Sun - Ocelotonatiuh - symbolizes the first of the earth's four epochs. It was believed that in this era the world was inhabited by giants that were devoured by jaguars. The jaguar is adorned with a "smoking mirror", symbol of the god Tezcatlipoca.

    6.  Tonatiuh's claws imprison human hearts, symbolizes the need to perform human sacrifices in honor of him.

    7.  The Water God - Atonatiuh. At the end of the forth era, humanity was exterminated by a flood and the surivors turned into fish. This epoch is represented by a vessel of water, and the goddess Chalchiuhtlicue.

    9.  The Sun of Movement - Ollin Tonatiuh - who is portrayed in the center of the Aztec Calendar, governed the universe in all its manifestations.

    11.  The Rain Sun - Quiauhtonatiuh. the god that reigned over this period was Tlaloc, god of rain, since it was believed that humanity was then destroyed by a rain of fire, The men who survived were converted into birds.

    12.  The Wind God - Ehecatonatiuh - symbolizes the second era. At its end humanity was destroyed by hurricanes and the survivors transformed into monkeys. The god of this era is Quetzalcoatl.

    Circle of Blood, Solar Rays, and Exterior Cirle:
    The Exterior Circle is formed by the numeral 13 Acatl and 2 fire serpents that are placed face to face.

    1. Plate showing the date 13 acatl (13 reed). The day of the sun's birth.

    5. Solar Ray.

    8. The god Tonatiuh, the sun, faces Xiutecuitli. On each new day the sun appears as an eagle, after having vanquished the moon and the stars.

    10. The god Xiuhtecutli, Lord of the Night in this context, shows his obsidian tongue.

    13. Amate paper bands

    My brief description of the Great Aztec Calendar.

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