Inti Raymi festival which is dedicated to praise the deeds of the Sun is the second largest festival of South America and can be considered as one of the convincing and historic carnival of Peru. The celebration of Inti Raymi is marked by millions of devotee who gathers around the open space of Cuzco to offer homage to the first son of the sun who is renowned as Inti Churin. The festival in fact is a symbol of immortal sanctification of marriage between the sun and his sons.
To understand the historical background of the festival traveler would require understating the Spanish oppression during its colonial days. The Spaniards during their days took an active participation to outcast the events of Inti Raymi that used occur during the solace of winter in Cuzco. It is believed that earliest method of celebration was orthodox because people during that days used to refrain themselves from any physical pleasures, used to fast for several days to please the crops of sun god. Communities of Peru during the time of festival called for a sacrifice of llamas to honor sun god.
During the call of late 15th century viceroy Toledo restricted Inti Raymi as a part of contrary to the Catholic faith and again the celebration as a part of their ancestral association was revived in 20th century. At present the rituals used during the time of ancient celebration are same and the norms again are virtue of their old tradition.
When It Is Celebrated
The festival of Inti Raymi is celebrated officially in 24th June of every year as winter solstice but the actual commemoration starts from the 21st of June.
How It Is Celebrated
Since we understand that it is one of the traditional festivals of the local people so it is marked by series of events. During day time you will witness expositions in streets like street dance and street fairs while in evening they gather to enjoy the musical concert which is performed by number of renowned local artiste.
The main part of the festival is convocation of Sapa Inca in Qorikancha after his invocation he urges for blessings and later he is escorted in golden throne to the ancient fortress of Sacsayhuamá. During this advent numbers of people follows the crowd to participate in procession. The son of sun is accompanied by high priest and jewels of his court. Once all the dignitaries are sedated in their respective throne the Sapa Inca climbs the square of the fortress and preaches the word of wisdom.
After his inspiring words the llama is sacrificed as a part of tradition and then high priest holds the heart of the llama and professes the glory of future. Once the dying ray of sun starts to sinks at its destined horizon people starts to dance around the open spaces and walks back their procession to the streets of Cuzco.
The magnitude of this festival is a joy of celebration which is exhibited on the streets by the local people. The festival as it marks the beginning of the New Year for the local people the enthusiasm and the energy which is carried out by the devotee is worth noticing.
Where All It Is Celebrated
The festival is officially celebrated at the streets of Peru to be more precise it is put into show from the walks of Cuzco to the open spaces of ancient fortress of Sacsayhuamá.