Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/304

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Jan. 23, King of Spain; Feb. 5, anniversary of the Constitution of '57; Feb. 22, Washington's birthday; March 14, King of Italy; March 21, birthday of Juarez; 22, of Emperor of Germany; April 1, opening of Congress; May 5 (Cinco de Mayo), victory at Puebla, over the French; May 8, birthday of Hidalgo; May 15, taking of Queretaro; 31, closing of Congress; June I, Italy; June 8, birthday of President of the Republic (Gonzalez); 21, taking of the city of Mexico, 1867; July 4, Independence of the United States; 9, of the Argentine Republic; 14, storming of the Bastile; July 18, death of Juarez; 20, Independence of United States of Colombia; 28, of Peru; 30, death of Hidalgo; Sept. 15, Independence of Guatemala; 15 and 16, Independence of Mexico (Grito de Dolores); 16, opening of the Senate; Nov. 15, birthday of King of Belgium; Dec. 15, close of the Senate.

But to return to our original question, What is the present religious status of the Mexican Indian to-day? Practically, says a writer who studied them long and thoroughly, "there is not much difference between the old heathenism and the new Christianity. We may put the dogmas out of the question. They hear them, and believe in them devoutly, and do not understand them in the least. They receive the Immaculate Conception, as they have received many mysteries before it; and are not a little delighted to have a new occasion for decorating themselves and their churches with flowers, marching in processions, dancing, beating drums, and letting off rockets by daylight, as their manner is. The real essence of both religions is the same to them; they had gods to whom they built temples, and in whose honor they gave offerings, maintained priests, and danced,—much as they do now,—that their divinities might be favorable to them and give them good crops and success in their enterprises. This is pretty much what their Christianity consists of. As a moral influence, working upon the character of the people, it seems scarcely to have had the slightest effect, except in causing them to leave off human sacrifices, which were probably not an original feature of their worship, but were introduced at a comparatively late time, and