Huitzilopochtli is the national god of the Aztecs (Mexica).
The Aztecs were the dominant Indigenous civilization in Mexico before the Colonial Period.
He is the sun god of war, sacrifice and the city of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital which grew into Mexico City.
In his hand, Huitzilopochtli holds a Xiuhcoatl as a weapon. Xiuhcoatl is the Aztec god of fire represented as a great serpent. He represents the dry season and is the sun’s weapon.
Huitzilopochtli holding Xiuhcoatl symbolizes the darkness being driven out by the sun.
The Aztecs honored Huitzilopochtli in our month of December with a climax at the winter solstice.
How convenient that the principal deity of the Aztecs was worshiped at the same time as the principal deity of the Spanish. Catholic priests combined the two celebrations.
So Mexican and Mexican-American Christmas celebrations are also a celebration of Huitzilopochtli.
Indigenous traditions survived by being encoded within the traditions of the conquistadors and slavers. It’s all there, but if you don’t understand the code, you won’t see it.
It is wonderful how the human nervous system spontaneously generates similar traditions around the world and across time.
The image is drawn from the Codex Borbonicus, one of the rare Aztec books to survive the bonfires of Catholic priests. The codex is named for the French Palais Bourbon. It is in the library of the National Assembly in Paris.