The Purépechas of the northwestern region of Michoacán, Mexico, celebrate the night of the 1st and the 2nd of February as the new year, with the lighting ceremony of the New Fire, which goes back to the pre-Hispanic period. According to the Purépecha calendar, the year consists of 18 months of 20 days and starts on these dates. The ritual is carried out each time in a different town, which receives the Old Fire from the community that guarded it the previous year. The Purépecha New Year celebration, a modern revitalization of an ancient festival that ceased with the Spanish Conquest, was begun again in 1983. Between the night of February 1 and dawn of February 2, the stars of the constellation of Orion are placed at their highest point–the time for offerings to Kurhíkuaeri, the god of the Sun and Fire. The community fire, called the chijpiri jimbani or “new fire,” honors the four elements. Mass is also celebrated in the Purépecha language.

Source: “Purepecha New Year,” Visit Patzcuaro.  Retrieved 3/12/2021, Purépecha New Year | Visit Pátzcuaro (visitpatzcuaro.com)
Photo: AlejandroLinaresGarcia, 3/30/2015. Permissive Use.

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