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The Pyramid of the Sun


So say the texts: "It is said that yet when all was darkness, when yet no sun had shone and no dawn had broken, the gods gathered themselves together and took counsel among themselves here at Teotihuacan. They spoke amongst themselves: 'Come hither, O gods! Who will carry the burden? Who will take it upon himself to be the sun, to bring the dawn?'


A rich god named Tecuciztecatl was of this nature. No sooner had the gods called for volunteers that Tecuciztecatl had indeed volunteered. Then he realized for what.


The gods gathered in Teotihuacan had just decided they needed one of them to sacrifice himself in the burning fire. The god who would jump into the raging fire would reach the skies and shine upon the world as the Sun. But who was to do it? Some looked upon Tecuciztecatl with scorn. That haughty God was no good. So even while his candidature was being applauded and accepted, there were a group of gods who suggested the name of the humble god Nanahuatzin.


Nanahuatzin was the one who had given maize to the world. He accepted this nomination for he believed it was his duty to give his best to society. The sacrificial pyres were prepared and to this day they still remain as the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. After days of penance, the midnight fire was lit at the Pyramid of the Sun. Tecuciztecatl was adorned and all ready, but stories say he ran several times to jump into the pyre and that every time he felt the heat of the raging flames his feet faltered and he went back on. When this happened a few times over, everybody began looking towards Nanahuatzin.


Nanahuatzin did not falter — he was neither frightened nor indecisive.

He instantly threw himself into the fire.


Tecuciztecatl was now being scorned at. Unable to bear it, he too jumped into the fire. Soon the first ray of light emerged from the east and Nanahuatzin emerged as the Sun.


Some say Tecuciztecatl also came up as the second Sun, equally bright. But some say one god threw a rabbit on Tecuciztecatl’s face to diminish the intensity of light. Others say Tecuciztecatl naturally came up as a paler version".

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Taken on December 31, 2007