I’ve long thought of this time of year as Los Holidaze. We all seem to end up staggering around in a daze, and there are a lot holidays happening. It’s more than just the consumer orgy in honor of Jesus Christ.
This is the first Christmas that I have not worked retail since the year 2000. It’s quiet, being away from the cash registers. And I haven’t had to listen to any of that annoying music.
Besides, this post is going up on December 22, the day of the Winter Solstice, and there are all kinds of pagan rituals that need to be taken care of as the planet goes over the hump and gets closer to the Sun.
I’ve recognized Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe. Hanukka is rocking right along. And good luck to Kwanzaa, being new, like Guadalupe, and still getting established. And be sure to remember Día de lot Reyes Magos, on January 6.
For the record, I’m all for celebrations, and getting together with friends and family. And the more the merrier.
December 11 through 30 are the 16th Aztec month; the festival is Atemoztli, the Coming Down of Waters, in honor of the Tláloques -- the small assistants of Tláloc, the Rain God (hm, a generous, fat, jolly guy with dwarf helpers -- could this be a tropical version of Santa Claus?) and the divine mountains: Popocatépetl, Ixtaccihuatl, Mount Tláloc, and Matalcueye. Most people would engage in bloodletting. All men were expected to abstain from sex -- they didn’t say anything about women. Images of Tláloc and the Tláloques were made from amaranth dough, and priests would come into people’s homes, ritually “killing” the images with weaving sticks. Sometimes it was acceptable for women to do the “killing.” Chosen nobles were adorned with feathers and either sacrificed in the mountains, or drowned in one of Tláloc’s sacred pools.
So there’s no reason go get hung up in traditions that are getting stale. Try something different. The gods will thank you.
Ernest Hogan has a story in the science fiction anthology Alien Contact, and has recently been reminded that his Sheriff Joe Arpaio-inspired story “Burrito Meltdown” is still available (while supplies last) in the Angel Body and Other Magic for the Soul.