How to Make Your Own Ancient Aztec Calendar

Written by vivian gomez
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How to Make Your Own Ancient Aztec Calendar
Aztec calendar rendered in stone (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

The Aztecs used two separate calendars, one marking religious festivals and another measuring the passage of time. They based the religion calendar on a 260-day cycle, called the "tonalpohualli," and used it to determine what days were more auspicious for them to consult the gods. They based the one measuring the passage of time on a 365-day cycle, which they divided into 18 months that each had 20 days, leaving five extra days at the end of the year. The Aztecs believed that disasters were more likely to occur during those remaining unlucky five days. You can create your own 365-day Aztec calendar on Microsoft Word.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Computer
  • Microsoft Word
  • Printer
  • Hole punch
  • Binder

Show MoreHide


    Create the Template

  1. 1

    Open Microsoft Word. Go to "Page Layout," click "Orientation" and change it to "Landscape."

  2. 2

    Create a table that has five columns and four rows. You should have 20 squares, each of which represents a day of the month. Leave enough room at the top of the table so you can type the name of each month later.

  3. 3

    Number the squares from 1 to 20. Type the following day names next to each numeral, starting with 1: crocodile, wind, house, lizard, serpent, death, deer, rabbit, water, dog, monkey, grass, reed, jaguar, eagle, vulture, movement, flint, rain and flower.

  4. 4

    Go to "File," click "Save as" and name your calendar template. Keep the name simple, such as Personal Aztec Calendar. Click the text type bar and set it to "Document Template" and hit "Enter."

    Finish and Print Out the Calendar

  1. 1

    Open the calendar template you created in the first section. Type the name of the first month in the space you left for yourself at the top of the table. The first month is called "Atlacacauallo." Print the sheet.

  2. 2

    Highlight the name of the month, Atlacacauallo, you typed in Step 1. Type the second month, Tlacaxipehualiztli, in its place. Print out the sheet.

  3. 3

    Repeat Step 2 for the remaining months, named as follows: Tozoztontli, Hueytozoztli, Toxcatl, Etzalcualiztli, Tecuilhuitontli, Hueytecuihutli, Tlaxochimaco, Xocotlhuetzin, Ochpaniztli, Teoleco, Tepeihuitl, Quecholli, Panquetzaliztli, Atemoztli, Tititl and Izcalli.

  4. 4

    Open a new blank Word document and create a table with one row and five columns. The five columns represent the five unlucky days at the end of the Aztec calendar year. They are called the "Nemontemi," which means "empty days." Print out the sheet.

  5. 5

    Assemble your calendar any way you wish, be it in a binder or as a wall calendar. Use a hole punch so that you can attach the sheets together and keep everything neat.

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