As every year in Peru, the Andean highlands celebrates, on June 24, the winter solstice with the traditional festival of Inti Raymi (the festival of the sun), the culmination of which takes place on the esplanade of the Sacsayhuamán archaeological park, the ancient Inca fortress located 2 km from the city of Cusco.
Each year, this major event attracts thousands of curious people from all over the world, to take part in the festivities which retrace the glorious past of this South American country. Nearly 650 actors reconstruct this ancestral ceremony performed by the Incas on the occasion of the southern hemisphere's winter solstice, which marks a new year and a new agricultural cycle. Harvest time, “Día del Campesino”, defines this celebration which recalls the largest and most majestic pre-Columbian ceremony in homage to the Sun (the God Inti).
During this celebration, the one who embodies the Inca pays homage to the Sun god to obtain his benefits, his benevolent rays are indeed sources of life, fertility and energy in this region marked by climatic rigors. It is also about staging the sacrifice of a lama in the presence of the four representatives of Tahuantinsuyo. The ceremony ends at Cusco's iconic Plaza de Armas.
From a scientific standpoint, the solstice occurs on June 21, but according to Pasha Unachaq, a sundial used by the Incas, the sun remains in one place for a few days before rising on June 24. This day was therefore proclaimed by the high priest as the new year : Inti Raymi. A major event that constitutes the most important festival in the city of Cusco, located at an altitude of 3,400 m, the former capital of the Inca Empire.
D'après Actu Latino