Aztec Rain Festival

Aztec Rain Festival

Varies
For about 100 years the Aztecs ruled much of Mexico until the invasion of the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes and his troops in 1521. They observed a number of festivals associated with rain and the god of rain and lightning, Tlaloc. One was held in February, when a priest performed various rituals to encourage rainfall at the beginning of the agricultural year.
Another festival was held in March, when flowers had begun to bloom. Because these were the first arrivals of new life from the earth, they were offered to Tlaloc and other rain gods. A third festival to encourage rainfall was held in the autumn. Tlaloc was believed to live in a mountain and at this festival, people fashioned small mountains and images of the gods.
A bit of modern folklore attaches to the Aztec rain god. In 1968 a group of students clambered up a statue of Tlaloc in Mexico City and sat on his head. Some speculated that the god did not take kindly to this and made it pour rain during the Olympic Games held in the city that year.
SOURCES:
CelebNature-1969, p. 138
EncyRel-1987, vol. 14, p. 542
GodsSymbAncMex-1993, p. 166 (c)