Happy Xochiquetzal Day!
It all began in my Journalism 101 class in my local college. We start the class by mentioning various bits of news we’ve heard. A fellow student mentioned that my college’s day-care clinic had enacted a new rule for Valentines’ Day: not to celebrate Valentines’ Day, the reason being that it’s “religiously-based”, due to the St. part of St. Valentines Day (little do these horribly naive people realize that St. Valentine himself would be repulsed if he saw how his feast day was celebrated nowadays).
So instead of calling it St. Valentines’ Day (in a misguided attempt at being neutral) are calling it “Friendship Day”, where kiddies give each other “Friendship Grams”. Not only does this needlessly confuse the kid (who no-doubt will go home telling his parents that Valentines’ Day has changed), it also sets up the child to disbelieve everything he hears from an authority figure, which sets the stage for future conspiracy theorists in addition to just plain ignorant people. One must wonder when it became acceptable to lie to children like this.
In addition, how does one define “friendship”? There are many different ways a “friendship” could exist. Is it an acquaintanceship, a close friendship? If so, how close? Does it have romantic inclinations (at least as romantic as a child could be)? There are so many different ways this plan could go awry.
However, despite all of this, I have come up with an equally-ridiculous alternative to Valentine’s Day that still preserves it’s spirit: Xochiquetzal Day!
Now, I derive this conclusion from several lines of thought:
1. It’s generally agreed that Aztec religion is myth. Thus, that immediately removes any religious connections. Just because someone names their child Heracles doesn’t mean that they believe that Zeus causes lightning and that the wine god died to give us the secret to eternal life (as some Greeks believed).
2. Xochiquetzal is a goddess of love, flowers, and the arts. Her festivals involved people wearing animal masks. So in the end you get a holiday that’s like a mix of Halloween and Valentines Day, with many arts and crafts on the side. Not only that, but she’s a woman, which should please any woman who’s angry about every important figure in a holiday being a man.
3. It increases children’s cultural horizons: not only do they learn about Aztec mythology, thay laos learn that it was not all blood and gore stuff. Also, learning how to correctly pronounce her name would aid in developing articulation skills.
Thus, everybody wins! So, a big, warm, belated Xochiquetzal Day to you all!