Lesson 206 – Fiesta in the Yucatán: Maya Traditions

Each year on January 6, pilgrims travel to the ancient Maya city of Tizimín in the Yucatán peninsula to celebrate Epiphany. The festival of the Day of the Kings combines pre-Columbian and modern themes, all of them gilded with touch of the Mayas.

Learning Objective

Students will learn about how the ancient Maya city of Tizimín in the Yucatán peninsula to celebrate Epiphany.

Social Studies Standards

People, Places, & Environment G, H, I

Discussion Prompts

  • Elaborate on other religion rituals that might be comparable to the Epiphany (large groups, symbols, legacy)?
  • Discuss how cultural heritage is passed on in the Mayan culture and other native cultures in your region.
  • What argument could be used to change the Mayan tradition of gendered gremios membership to a gender-neutral membership?
  • Describe how hope and faith bring people together in the video. Use evidence from the video to justify your opinion. Speculate how social and economic powers influenced the Mayan traditions.

Lesson Activities

  • Write a letter to your teacher explaining how the people in the ancient Maya city of Tizimín celebrates Epiphany including examples of how the festival combines pre-Columbian as well as modern themes.
  • Write an argument about how the Mayan culture is accultured, not assimilated. Support your argument with at least three examples from the video.
  • Create a flyer with illustrations promoting the Epiphany to your peers.
  • List at least six facts that shows the influence of the Spaniards and the Mayans in their lives today.


  • cenotes
  • ecologic
  • endure
  • epiphany
  • gilded
  • gremio
  • limestone
  • pilgrims
  • rugged
  • sedimentary