500 years ago, Spainish conquistadors landed in Mexico. They encountered natives that seemed to mock death. It was a ritual they had been practicing for at least 3000 years. A ritual known today as Dia de los Muertos, or, Day of the Dead. This ritual is celebrated in Mexico and parts of the U.S. Celebrations are held each year in Mesa, Chandler, Guadalupe, and Arizona State Univesity. Today it still maintains the basic principles of the original aztec ritual, including the use of skulls. The Spainards considered the ritual to be sacrilegious. They thought the Aztecs to be barbaric and pagan. Spainards tried to kill the ritual by converting them to catholism. The ritual refused to die. In order to make the ritual more Christian, the Spainish moved it to All Saint's Day and All Souls Day (Nov. 1 and 2). Before it happened near the beginning of August, the ninth month of the Aztec Solar Calander. The festival goddess was Mictecacihuatl also known as "Lady of the Dead." She was believed to have died at birth.