What Did The Aztecs Do For Fun

What did the Aztecs do for Fun

The Aztecs played games, sang, and danced in their festive celebrations which they did pretty frequently. They had diverse games to play and they glorified music and dancing as it was sacrificed to the gods.

 However, music and dancing were not the two only things to be sacrificed. Citizens of the nation themselves were often offered to the gods which is the most ‘brutal’ sort of fun.

When it came to fun and entertainment, the Aztecs did a lot. Despite their cruel nature that made the neighboring cultures fear them, the Aztecs were surprisingly very fun to be around. Throughout the years, the Aztecs developed various means of fun to entertain themselves. Eventually, the Aztec means of entertainment were historically documented.

What Did The Aztecs Do In Their Free Time?

Playing various board and ball games was the main source of entertainment in their free time for Aztecs. The Aztecs would sing, dance, tell stories, and read poetry. Mesoamerican and South American cultures were heavily influenced by Aztec-related, or rather Aztec-derived, music, and dance. 

The Aztecs praised their own-made games for their originality, creativity, and the popularity they gained throughout the years. Aztec games were played in groups (whether ones of normal citizens or nobles) and usually done in a very festive environment where wine was served. 

Another trait of Aztec fun was in their dancing and musical celebrations. Music, song, and dance were extremely important to the Aztecs. Centuries before the European conquest, the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan and the centers of neighboring kingships in the Valley of Mexico and beyond had a thriving music culture.

Aztec musical thought was philosophically advanced. Musical tones, songs, and dance motions have religious connotations and were frequently used to accompany religious rituals such as offerings and sacrifices. 

Music and dancing were viewed as a form of sacrifice offering to the gods. Surprisingly, the Aztecs had no word for music. Music was the “art of song” (cuicatlamatiliztli), and musicians “sang” on their instruments rather than playing them.

What Games Did The Aztecs Play?

The Aztecs played two main games: a board game called Patolli, which is comparable to backgammon, and a ball game called Ulama, which was played by Mesoamericans long before the Aztecs.

The ball game, or Patolli as the Aztecs called it, was very much well-known. It was a team sport that was played on a court. People would gamble on the outcome in Tenochtitlan, if not elsewhere. However, because this sport was only played by the nobility, prominent troops, and a few professional players, it was probably less popular than patolli.

Patolli was traditionally played on a mat, although it was also possible to draw a board on the ground. The pebbles were placed in 60 or 70 spots on the board. The locations were divided into four categories, each with its effect on the stones’ journey. The moves were determined by the outcomes of dice tossing. Dried beans could be used to make the dice. It was simple to begin a game by simply rolling out the mat. Crowds of observers would soon arrive to join in the merriment, and alcoholic beverages were frequently available.

As for Ulama, or Ullamaliztli, it was yet another Aztec ball game highly similar to nowadays basketball and football. The game was played on a ball court called tlachtli as the game is often referred to as tlachtli. According to various historical records, we can notice that Ullamaliztli was highly important to the Aztecs that whenever settled in a new area, the ball court was one of the very things to be built. 

Ulama was not all fun and games and it usually had a brutal ending, that is, sacrifices to the Aztec gods. Most of the time, the Aztecs did not play for sport but for blood instead as at the end of every game, the losing team shall be sacrificed to the deity. 

How Did The Aztecs Celebrate?

By music and human sacrifice! For the Aztecs, traditional celebrations were an integral aspect of daily life. For a typical Aztec celebration to be complete, Aztec religious customs and traditions included the use of psychotropic drugs, as well as singing and dance. The Aztecs had elaborate funeral ceremonies and customs that stemmed from their distinct beliefs about death and the afterlife.

Priests who looked after the gods’ musical worship in sacred courtyards and on top of the pyramids presented music within the Aztec temple precinct. They used trumpets during sacrifices and to announce penance times, large rattle-sticks and rattling incense ladles in processions, slit-drums during nightly rituals accompanying astronomical observations on top of the temples, turtle shells, gourd rattles, and bone rasps in funeral ceremonies, flutes, whistles, and a variety of other instruments.

There were also sacred temple chants directed towards the gods, as well as temple dances performed by priests and god emissaries wearing metal bells and conch tinkles as part of their ritual attire. Theatrical plays of mythological or historical substance, as well as ceremonial games, were performed as part of the great celebrations conducted every 20 days.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much information available about the importance of music in ritual games. Eagle whistles, miniature flutes, clay drums, and slit drums were utilized, according to archaeological findings.

One common trait about Aztec celebrations is that the Aztecs favored their gods in their celebrations and sacrificed themselves. Human sacrifice played a huge religious and cultural role in Aztec civilization, which promptly made other civilizations fear them. For instance, in favor of the war god Huitzilopochtli, the sacrificed victim would be placed on a sacrificial stone. The priest would next use an obsidian or flint blade to sever the abdomen. In celebration of the Sun-God, the heart would be pulled out while still beating and held up to the sky.

What did the Aztecs do in their daily lives?

The Aztecs were people dedicated to their lands. They loved to build temples, take care of the agricultural land, cook, and much more!

 They were known for their agriculture, which included cultivating all accessible land, implementing irrigation, draining marshes, and constructing artificial islands in lakes. They invented hieroglyphic writing, devised a complicated calendar system, and constructed world-famous pyramids and temples.

Farmers, traders, artisans, and warriors were among their occupations. They had more modest living quarters and couldn’t afford ornate clothing or artwork. Regardless, there are various important components of most Aztec people’s everyday lives to consider, including clothes, education, entertainment, food, houses, religion, and job.

The Aztec daily routine does not differ much from the Mayan one or any nearing civilization around them. They all worked hard to take care of their lands and build godlike temples. 

Summary

There is no doubt that Aztecs had special ways of fun. Entertainment was most definitely part of their everyday life activities. They included many games such as Patolli and Ulama and they were festive peoples who praised their gods during their celebrations. Festivals in the Aztec community are sacred and have one common goal which is to please the gods, often by intoxication, dancing, and human sacrifice.