most important event in the cities were the religious festivals. People
who lived near a major city would travel to the city to attend the
festivals, see the ball
games and shop in the market.
Every 20th day, there was a religious festival.
Priests would climb the pyramid steps, dressed in fierce masks, to
please the gods. Wearing huge headdresses, Maya dancers performed in
front of the Pyramid or the Temple or both. The
Mayas are famous for their dances and their headdresses.
The movement of the dance would make their headdresses jingle and
rattle. It was quite a site.
During the festivals, there were human and animal sacrifices. Not
all sacrifices ended in death. The Mayas communicated with their gods by bloodletting,
tribute, and worship. Occasionally, they used human sacrifice. More often, bloodletting was a personal sacrifice. People
would stab or prick themselves. It was their own blood that was offered
as a tribute to their gods during worship. When nobles offered blood, a
drop was smeared on a bit of bark. The bark was burned and the smoke
floated to heaven where it could be consumed by the gods.