Religion was extremely important in Aztec life. The Aztecs worshipped hundreds of gods and goddesses, each of whom ruled one or more human activities or aspects of nature. The people had many agricultural gods because their culture was based on farming. These gods included Centeotl, a corn god; Tlaloc, a rain and fertility god; Xipe Totec, the god of springtime and re-growth; Quetzalcoatl, the god of civilization and learning and Ehecatl, the god of wind.

The Aztecs held many religious ceremonies to ensure good crops by winning the favour of the gods and then to thank them for the harvest. Every 52 years, the Aztecs held a great celebration called, Binding up of the Years. Prior to the celebration, the people would let their hearth fires go out and then light them again from the fire of the celebration feast.

Did you know?

The Aztecs believed that one of their gods had white skin and a beard. This god sailed away on a raft made of snakes, but promised to return.

Today most Mexicans are Roman Catholic. The patron saint of Mexico is the Virgin of Guadalupe, a dark skinned Virgin Mary who appeared to a Native man on a hill near Mexico City in the 16th century. There is also a small percentage of Protestants and Jews.

While nearly all Natives are Christians, their Christianity is mixed with their ancient beliefs. Traditionally, almost everything has a spiritual meaning.

Did you know?

The Aztecs believed that they lived in a world whose predecessors had been destroyed by the death of the sun, wiping out humanity each time. Human sacrifices were designed to keep the sun alive.