(This is an entry from the journal entitled “Mexico Summer” written by Elizabeth Whipple Lancaster Carsey 80-years-ago)
Left early for Teotihuacan but hadn’t gotten out far on the crowded-to-everflowing bus when two men in a car saw our plight and offered to drive us out. We were lucky going in a private car. We had to wait until almost 12 for the pageant that was to start at 10:30 but it was worth it – sides of all the pyramids in the citadel, had been decorated with aztec printing, geometric designs, Little Tlaloc Gods sat on the corners of the pyramids in the citadel and large ones on each of the monuments around the sides of the “ciudadela” (citadel) . The first part of the pageant portrayed the ceremony of the Renewal of Fire which is done on the first day after the 52 year cycle has been completed. That day incidentally fell this year on the 26th of July, today, as it was appropriate besides being in honor of the Lions! Six or 8 men worshiped the un-risen sun and tried to decided from which direction it would rise. A human sacrifice was made to the sun and quetzalcoatl said it would rise from the East – After it rose, the planters and maidens gave a dance of thanksgiving – after that people dressed like insects also gave a dance to the sun. The moon appeared after they shot arrows at the sun. Have day and night – These people more appreciated costumes, the planters held stalks of corn in their hands. The second part of the pageant showed an emperor in purple robes entering seating on a throne which was borne by several slaves. He ascended the long flight of steps of the pyramid at the back and was seated, surrounded by his wives and daughters dressed in white. After him and standing one on each step in line formation at each side of the huge flight, were warriors – Back of them entered the knights of the Eagle and Knights of the Tiger. These latter groups were dressed to represent the animal they named for, the other warriors were in red and gold robes! The tigers and the eagles had a battle (done as a dance) in which the Eagles were awesome. The captain of the defeated group was taken before the emperor who sentenced him to fight 8 picked men , single handed. He conquered these and as a reward was given one of the emperors daughters as a wife. Then the whole procession filed out – There were between 1500 and 2000 people who took park – the costumes and music made it one of the most gorgeous presentations I’ve ever seen. We wandered around the pyramids and museum until about 3 – Another private car brought us home. One of the workers on the bridge had an empty car to return to Mexico in. So we didn’t use our tickets at all. Had my hair fixed but not too satisfactorily.
Here’s what else was happening 80-years-ago today:
A new Popeye.