I took this picture in 2006 in the Yucatan, Mexico. A symbol for the religious syncretism in Central America.
Mexican religion traditions can be traced to some of the ancient civilizations that once ruled the pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. The most famous and most influential civilization was the Aztec that absorbed other people and tribes such as Mayans, Toltecs, Olmecs, Zapotecs and others along with their religious beliefs.
Aztecs worshipped many Gods that can be categorized into categories that are related to different themes: Gods of Creation, Nature Gods, Cultural Gods, Gods of Maize and Fertility, Trade Gods, Gods of Dead and Underworld and so on.
They offered human sacrifices to their gods very frequently and in large numbers. Also, during religious rituals they practiced cannibalism.
Aztecs had many religious festivals and during most of them human sacrifices were given to their Gods. Among many of those festivals Aztecs had two religious festivals dedicated to dead. One was called “Small feast of the dead” (24 July – 12 August) and the other one was called “Great feast of the dead” (13 August – 1 September).
The cult of death and dead was very strong and developed in Aztec’s civilization. So much so that they had two religious festivals dedicated to the dead which combined lasted for a moth and a half.
In the 16th century Spanish concurred the Aztecs and brought Roman Catholicism to Mesoamerica (present Mexico). Over time Catholicism became the main religion in Mexico. However many native people’s traditions were incorporated into new Mexican religion making Mexican Catholicism unique.