How To Make an Aztec Calendar

The Aztecs were an ethnic group that originated in Mexico. They were the ones who developed the Aztec calendar, tonalpohaualli. This type of calendar consists of 260 days and each of the days have a corresponding image as a symbol. The circular calendar serves as a guide for the Aztecs to praise their gods.

The Aztec tonalpohaualli calendar consists of 2 circles that are attached. The first circle has the numbers 1 through 13 while the second circle consists of the 20 symbols of the calendar. You can make your own Aztec calendar if you are studying the Aztec culture to help you understand better.

  • Materials that you need. The materials that you need for making a simple Aztec calendar are paper plates, a compass, pens and pencils, glue, scissors and a picture of the Aztec calendar that you can copy. You can view a picture of the calendar with some explanations on the website that features this Aztec Calendar.
  • Prepare the wheels. You will use the paper plates to make the calendar. Set aside 1 paper plate. Get another paper plate and measure 2 inches from the edge all around. Cut the paper plate and keep the inner part. On the third paper plate, measure 3 inches from the edge and cut it. Keep the inner part of the paper plate.
  • Cut triangles. The next step is to cut the 5 triangles that you need for the calendar. Use the spare paper plates that you cut out earlier to cut the 5 triangles. You can paint or color the triangles in any color that you want so that it stands out from the rest of the calendar.
  • Draw the signs. Next, you can draw the signs on the circles. There are 20 symbols on the Aztec calendar. You do not have to draw the symbols exactly as they appear since some of them can be very detailed and hard to copy. You can see a list of the 20 symbols that you need for the Aztec calendar on the website Ancient Scripts.
  • Connecting the pieces. You can now connect the arrows that you made earlier. Use glue at attach each of the 4 arrows on the middle plate. The 4 arrows should be facing north, south, east and west. The fifth arrow goes at the center of the calendar. Lay down the plates in order. Place the biggest plate at the bottom followed by the medium plate and the smallest plate on top. Use a metal fastener to connect the 3 plates together at the middle. This will allow you to turn the rings on the calendar so that you can practice using it.

Now you have a simple Aztec calendar that you can use in learning more about the Aztecs. To help you use the calendar the proper way, you can read more about the calendar and the gods that the images symbolize on the website Aztec Calendar. The website has articles on the gods and deities, the history of the calendar and you can also download Aztec calendar widgets that you can add on your desktop.


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