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All you should know about Inti Raymi

Inti Raymi, also known as Sun Festival, is one of the most important and wonderful ceremonies during the Inca Empire, in which the Sun God, also called “Apu Inti” was venerated. This ceremony has prevailed for a long time, and now it is a theatrical play held in the ceremonial Sacsayhuaman Fortress.

Every June 24th, the Department of Cusco becomes the center of all tourist attractions because thousands of tourists travel to this city to witness the Inti Raymi celebration which is one of the best cultural experiences in this mystical city.

There are three points where this ceremony will be held. First, the ceremony begins with the sun salutation in the Coricancha Temple, known today as Convento de Santo Domingo. Later, the ceremony moves to Haucaypata where the Inca and the Mayor of Cusco will meet. Finally, the main ceremony takes place at the esplanade of Sacsayhuaman, north of Cusco, at 3 671 m.a.s.l.

Inti Raymi formerly lasted for 15 days and started in wintertime. The last ceremony was held in 1535, and the Inca was present one year before Spaniard’s arrival in 1536. This ritual consisted of giving thanks to the sun for giving heat and fertilizing the lands for future crops.

Inti Raymi consists of canticles in Quechua, typical music and colorful characters wearing costumes from that era. The ñustas (Inca princesses), coya (sister and the principal wife of the Inca), pallas (wives of the Inca), and the representatives of the 4 Suyos participate in this ceremony. Finally, the Inca appears and is carried upon shoulders in a gold-plated litter, escorted by the orejones (people wearing earplugs who were in charge of carrying the Inca). During the play, women called “acllas” are chosen to sing sweetly to the Inca and Sun God. Finally, the Inca will be in charge of talking and giving thanks to the Sun.

Recommendations for the ceremony:

– Do not forget to wear sunblock to protect your skin from sunlight.
– Wear comfortable clothes for walking around.
– Bring a beverage as the ceremony takes long, and you must keep yourself hydrated, plus you should bring some fruit to eat as well.
– The most important thing is not to forget to buy your tickets for this magnificent Inca performance.

Don’t miss this magical ceremony of our ancestors, paying tribute to Sun God. Enjoy Inti Raymi and its play!

Sources: Mincetur, Promperu, Cusco, Emufec,, DePerú, Cusco festividad, Cusco ecológico.

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