This legend tells the love story of two Aztec youths, Xóchitl and Huitzilin, whose romance gave birth to the cempasuchil flower, known as the Day of the Dead flower.
This wonderful love story began when the two young Aztecs were still children. They used to spend all their free time together, playing and exploring their town. Although Xochitl was very sheltered, her family allowed her to join Huitzilin’s adventures, and their love blossomed over time.
They particularly enjoyed hiking to the top of a nearby mountain where they would offer flowers to the Sun god Tonatiuh. The god seemed to appreciate their offering and would smile from the sky with his warm rays. On a particularly beautiful day at the top of the mountain, they swore that their love would last forever.
When war broke out the lovers were separated as Huitzilin headed to fight and protect their homeland.
Soon the dreaded news of Huitzilin‘s death reached Xóchitl. She felt her world falling to pieces, her heart completely torn.
She decided to walk one last time to the top of the mountain and implore the sun god Tonatiuh, to somehow join her with her love Huitzilin. The sun moved by her prayers and threw a ray that gently touched the young girl’s cheek. Instantly she turned into a beautiful flower of fiery colors as intense as the sun’s rays.
Suddenly a hummingbird lovingly touched the center of the flower with its beak.
It was Huitzilin who was reborn as a handsome hummingbird. The flower gently opened its 20 petals, filling the air with a mysterious and lovely scent.
The lovers would be always together as long as cempasuchil flowers and hummingbirds existed on earth.
This is how the cempasúchil flower came to be the Day of the Dead Flower.
Cempaspuchitl is the name given to Mexican marigold flowers. It comes from the Aztec language, the Nahuatl, and means twenty petals flower.