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The Festival of the Sun in Cusco, Peru (Inti Raymi) of the Incas.

Hello bloggers, today we will talk about the (Festival of the Sun-Inti Raymi in Quechua language) which was a festival celebrated every year by the Incas in Cusco in Peru. Know more about, reading our blog.

What is Inti Raymi Festival?

Inti Raymi festival is an ancient Inca celebration in honour of their (Sun God – Inti). In the old times of the Inca Empire, it was the most important festival held in the Peruvian Andean region, with around 20,000 people gathering in Cusco .

The festival of the Sun was the most important celebration of the year in the Inca calendar and symbolized the mythical origins of the Inca people. The festival also have the presence of the Inca Emperor’s, that had connection with his people: he took to the streets to salute the people in Cusco, Peru, South America.

It was celebrated every year on 24 June, which coincides with the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

According to chroniclers, the history of Inti Raymi dates back to 1411 when the (9th) Inca emperor, (Pachacuti the emperor who order to build the MachuPicchu), established that the festival should take place every year during the winter solstice to honour his god Inti and celebrate the Inca New Year.

Cultural heritage of Peru today:

In 1944, a Cusqueño Faustino Espinoza, a Quechua man (native people of the Andean region) writer, actor, and director, recovered Inti Raymi from oblivion. His intention was to “restore the pride and identity of the Quechua people“.

He did a huge and valuable historical research on the festival and began to organize the recreation of a modern Inti Raymi, leaving you the role of the (Inca Emperor).
Today, the festival of the sun in Cusco city has become the second-largest festival in South America, just behind the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro in Brasil.

In 2001, the Inti Raymi Festival was declared a Cultural Heritage of Peru and a Ritual Ceremony of National Identity by law. Today it is a national pride of the Cusqueños Peruvian people, of the ancestral culture of their ancestors, the Incas.

Why was Inti Raymi festival banned?

The festival was still held in secret for many years, although not with the same grandeur as before, since the Inca emperor was not present to officiate it.

The last official festival of the Sun was celebrated in 1535, a year before the old Spanish conquesters arrived in the region. The last Inca Emperor, Atahualpa, held the festival without imagining that it would be the last to be celebrated in his glorious empire.

When the old Spanish conquistadors arrived in Peru, in Cusco, they imposed their culture, traditions and religion. They considered the indigenous beliefs and traditions to be pagan and barbaric, and as a consequence, many of their richest celebrations were culturally banned.

The festival was still held in secret for many years, although not with the same grandeur as before, since the Inca emperor was not present to officiate it.

However, in 1572, the celebration of the Inti Raymi Festival was definitively banned by the Spanish viceroy Francisco de Toledo.

The Spanish colonizers wanted the Incas to adopt the Catholic faith and forget the customs and traditions of their own culture. No official Inti Raymi took place from that moment until the 20th century.

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