In the Maya Empire, every 20th day was a festival day. Priests would climb up the steps of a pyramid. On the steps, dressed in fierce masks and towering hats, they would dance and rattle things and make a lot of noise. Their huge hats had things sewn on them that jingled. This added to the noise.
Bloodletting was part of every festival. But bloodletting was a personal sacrifice. The Maya cut themselves so that a drop or two of blood would appear. The nobles smeared their blood on a bit of bark and then burned it, to help their blood get to heaven, so the gods would know they had made a sacrifice in their honor.
The Maya did practice human sacrifice, but human sacrifice was not part of every festival. When captives were forced to play a game of ball against a Maya team, they always lost. After the game, the captive team was sacrificed.