As religion goes, the Aztecs worshiped many gods. When they took over a new tribe or culture they often adopted the new tribe's gods into the Aztec religion. One of the most important aspects of Aztec religion was the sun. The Aztecs called themselves the "People of the Sun". They felt that in order for the sun to rise each day the Aztecs needed to perform rituals and sacrifices to give the sun strength. Despite worshiping many gods, there were certain gods that the Aztecs considered more important and powerful than the others. The most important god to the Aztecs was Huitzilopochtli. Sacrifice was one of the main events in the Aztec religion. Priests made human sacrifices to make the sun god happy. Aztecs fought in wars to capture men to sacrifice. On God's Feast Day, they killed their slaves for the gods. Human sacrifices were offerings to the sun and earth so that food would grow. They also believed in the afterlife.
The Aztec culture was especially interested in education. Boys and girls were educated from birth. During the first years of life, fathers educated boys, while mothers took care of girls. Once family education was over, the children of the nobles and priests went to the calmecac, and all others went to the tepochcalli. The Aztecs believed that education was extremely valuable and insisted that boys, girls and young people attend school. Children learned history, myths, religion and Aztec ceremonial songs. Boys received military training and also learned about agriculture and the trades, and made arts and crafts. Girls were educated to form a family, cook, and were trained in the arts and trades that would ensure the welfare of their future homes. Teachers were greatly admired.
Art was an important part of Aztec life. They used some forms of art such as music, poetry, and sculpture to honor and praise their gods. Other forms of art, such as jewelry and feather-work, were worn by the Aztec nobility to set them apart from the commoners.
The Aztecs often used metaphors throughout their art. The hummingbird represented the sun god, the eagle represented the warrior, and flowers represented the beauty of life. Metaphors like these were used in their drawings, sculpture, and poetry. The highest form of art in the Aztec culture was poetry. Many of their poems were about the gods and mythology, but others were about everyday life. They called poetry "flower and song". The poetry and stories of the Aztecs were passed down verbally from generation to generation. They didn't begin to write down their poetry until after the Spanish arrived.
The main food of the Aztec was a thin cornmeal pancake called a tlaxcalli. (In Spanish, it is called a tortilla.) They used the tlaxcallis to scoop up foods while they ate or they wrapped the foods in the tlaxcalli to form tacos. They hunted for most of the meat in their diet and the chief game animals were deer, rabbits, ducks and geese. The only animals they raised for meat were turkeys and dogs. The Aztecs have been known for the discovery of chocolate. The Aztecs made chocolate from the fruit of the cacao tree and used it as a flavoring and as an ingredient in various beverages and kinds of confectionery. The Aztec society was divided into 3 classes- slaves, commoners, and nobility.
With slaves, the children of poor parents could be