The Ceremony of 8000 Sacred Drums is part of the ancient Otomi culture and tradition, and it has a history of at least four thousand years, from the ancient holy city of Cuicuilco. According to oral history, with the eruption of Xitle volcano, a pilgrimage arrived at the Valley of Toluca and founded the Sacred City of Ndongu (located in the actual Sierra Otomi of Temoaya), where this tradition was continued.
With the arrival of the Aztecs to the Valley of Mexico almost 700 years ago, the city of Ndongu was called “Xiquipilco”, which means “Place of the Eight Thousand”, as this place had been used to gather 8000 drums for rituals, ceremonies, healings and holidays. This tradition developed for celebrations and important dates, to honor the Ceremonial Centers and Sacred Places, and especially to maintain harmony with Mother Earth and the Universe.
The emblem of their banner contained the symbol of the mountain, and in the center a bag with three fringes, which was reproduced in the sacred books and codices such as the Xiquipilco and Huamantla. This pictographic element represents the number 8000 in the vigesimal (20 based) Otomi system of Numeration, and in its cosmic vision. The symbolic representation of this number is associated with the most sublime virtues of the Universe.