You are here:
  1. » Home
  2. » Areas
  3. » Mythology
  4. » Americas
  5. » Aztec mythology
  6. » Xiuhtecuhtli
Cite/print/rate article
Send comment    References


by Micha F. Lindemans
Xiuhtecuhtli, also called Huehueteotl ("old god"), is the senior-deity of the Aztec pantheon. He is the personification of light in the darkness, warmth in coldness, and life in death. A god of light and fire, he is often depicted with a red or yellow face, with a censer on his head. His wife is mentioned as Chalchiuhtlicue, a water and vegetation goddess, although she also appears as the wife of Tlaloc.

At the end of a 52-year cycle (the Aztec century) it was feared that the gods would discontinue their contract with mankind. To appease them, at the end of such a cycle feasts were held in their honor, where Xiuhtecuhtli as the god of fire was the center of their attention. Victims were placed on burning coals, after the hearts had been removed from the bodies.

Article details:

  • Also known as:

Page tools: