Inti Raymi is an Inca Festival to honor the Sun god. It is celebrated each year on June 24 and it was considered the most important and grandiose festival of the Inca Empire, according to Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1616). It takes place at an enormous esplanade at the foot of the monumental stone fortress which dominates Cusco from the northern hillside at an altitude of 255 meters higher than the city's main square, that is at 3,671 m.
The people of Cusco start preparing for this event well before the actual date June 24, when everybody flocks to the esplanade of Sacsayhuaman. (Ceremonial fortress located 2 km north of Cusco). At this festival, folkloric music is played while representatives of the four corners of the world or suyos parade in front of the crowd in their typical attire, accompanied by ñusta, coyas and pallas, who dance twirling their skirts in swaying lines. Finally, the Inca is brought into the esplanade by his litter bearers. While the instruments such as quenas and pututus are blown, the Inca stands up and spreads his arms wide towards the horizon to honor the Sun god called Inti. The Inca prays out loud in Quechua, bearing respect, obedience and adoration to sun god.
Voices and shouts, music and silence come and go during this ceremony. The ceremony ends when the first rays of the sun appeared and everyone would adore the sun with outstretched arms. The Inca would then raise two large golden cups full of chicha and would share the contents of the other with his relatives. Finally the Inca would order his army and people to participate in the ceremony.
Nowadays the Inti Raymi festivity is a theatrical representation, but is also a famous ceremony that symbolizes the values and memories from our past. Entrances to get to the ceremony run out fast, so you should be prepared for next year and request it months in advance. Don’t miss the opportunity to be there in 2019 !!
A trip to celebrate Inti Raymi with the descendants of the Incas can also include a visit to the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and more.
For further information you can contact GreenTracks.