For the sixth year in a row, students and community members gathered at City College of San Francisco’s Mission campus on March 11, beneath what is said to be the largest Aztec Calendar in the world, to ring in the Aztec New Year.
According to this calendar system, the New Year “Ce Kalli” (One House) commenced at midnight.
The ceremony started at 6:30 p.m. and was led by Mazatzin Casas Acosta, an expert on the Aztec Calendar and renown throughout the Bay Area for his knowledge of the indigenous Mexica culture of Mexico. Acosta led the project that placed the 27-foot tile depiction of the calendar above the college’s entrance in 2007.
According to Acosta, the Aztec Calendar is the most precise calendar system, and learning how to use it correctly can help to discover one’s potentials and capabilities in a concept that he calls “cosmic identity.” The Mexica New Year Celebration was officially recognized in 2010 by way of a proclamation from the City of San Francisco.
This year’s celebration included ceremonial dancing, a community dinner and live performances by Mission-based singer MamaCoatl as well as Jose Najera and the Bernal Beat.
A candlelight vigil in remembrance of Ernesto “Xe” Acosta, Acosta’s youngest son who was killed on Feb. 10 near Alamo Square Park, concluded the ceremony. Xe was greatly involved in organizing the New Year ceremony in past years.
“Time is the most common factor that exists, uniting us all,” said Acosta. “It’s all about those once in a lifetime moments—and I’ve had plenty of those with Xe.”