Huehueteotl was the Aztec god of fire and also the oldest god in the Aztec pantheon. He is typically shown as an aged man with a hunched back who carries a brazier—a pan for holding burning coals—on his head. He was loved by the Aztecs because he brought heat to the kitchen, bath, and laundry basin, where old clothes were made new. The image of Huehueteotl is sometimes combined with that of Xiuhtecuhtli, a young fire god associated with warriors and kingship. In this form, the god is shown wearing garments covered with turquoise and carrying a fire serpent on his back.

pantheon all the gods of a particular culture

Aztec priests kept a fire at all times to honor Huehueteotl. To mark the completion of a full 52-year cycle in the Aztec calendar, the fire was carried between temples and into the homes of the people. The Aztecs celebrated two festivals dedicated to Huehueteotl, one in August (the hottest part of the year) and the other in January (the coldest part of the year).

See also Aztec Mythology ; Fire ; Serpents and Snakes .

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