Inti Raymi is by far the most important celebration in the Peruvian culture. It is for many the second most relevant festival in South America, just below Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro Carnival. It is a colorful and mesmerizing portrayal of an ancient ritual, a love letter to older, wiser generations. Find out all there is to know about Inti Raimy as we walk you through its origins, meaning, and history, as well as explain the modern steps of the festival and give you some recommendations if you are planning on joining the festivity.
When we think about Peru, it is impossible not to think about Incan culture in one way or another. The truth is that it represents a perfect example of what a diverse, rich culture is. From architectural wonders to traditions of skill preservation and a wide cosmovision, Incans are a folklore treasure.
Today we want to specifically talk about one of the most significant events in Latin America: The Inti Raymi Festival. It is a performance-based on an ancient ritual made by the Incans every winter solstice. Back then, it was called “Wawa Inti Raymi,” which could be roughly translated to The Party of the Infant Sun.
Praising the sun was a huge part of the Incan life. It was probably the most prominent deity in their cosmovision. Their living depended mostly on agriculture, and they believed that The Sun was responsible for good harvests. That’s why they made sure to thank him enough and to keep him happy.
The Inti Raymi is the favorite celebration of most Peruvians, and it is the most popular festival among tourists. Every June 24th, more than a hundred thousand people gather around approximately seven hundred actors. They dance, jump, and sing while feeling revitalized by the shining sun. They share their cultural ways with pride, love, and emotion, which produces a beautiful, harmonic atmosphere.
Picture by: Renny Gamarra
We want to invite you to the Sun’s yearly celebration, held in different zones in Cusco. But part of the magic of this festival comes with the knowledge and understanding of what you are seeing. The Inti Raymi is all about cultural love, but what is it there to love? What’s the story behind all of these dances? Keep reading and find out.