Inti Raymi: “The Feast of the Sun”

by / Lunes, 16 Enero 2017 / Published in Travel
Inti Raymi or Festival of the Sun (one day) June 24th

In the Inti Raymi “The Feast of the Sun” there were several reasons that led the Inca civilization to make sacrifices and offerings to the king. One was that the Incas, like the nobility of Cusco, were considered natural sounds of the Sun; They obeyed his existence, and they had to reciprocate him with sacrifices and offerings.

The Sun was going away (June – winter solstice), the cold increased, in the dawns the water was frosty.
The Inti Raymi is a celebration that celebrates the sun god of the Incas. Today it is recreated on June 24 of each year as the most solemn and grandiose festival of the disappeared Inca Empire. The INTI RAYMI scenario is the fortress of Sacsayhuamán, located in the northern part of the city of Cusco, at 3 671 meters above sea level. According to the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Sacsayhuaman is “the greatest and most magnificent work that the Incas had built to show their power and majesty.”


The Inka Pachakuteq ordered the construction of the Qorikancha, a lavish temple dedicated to reverence the Sun, a God whom the Incas called Apu Inti, in whose honor the imposing INTI RAYMI feast was consecrated, which reaches outlines of solemnity and splendor, as they describe The most important chroniclers.

More than six centuries ago, the Inca Pachakuteq instituted the Feast to the Sun god. The Cusqueños currently continue to represent INTI RAYMI with the same fervor with which their ancestors realized it in the splendorous times of the incanato.

The INTI RAYMI, in its contemporary version, takes place on June 24, 1944, when the city celebrations were instituted in memory of its millennial origin and birthplace of the Great Inca Civilization.

* During the time that the Inti Raymi lasted, llamas and other animals were sacrificed to predict the future of the crops and, likewise, the general uproar was unleashed, after the military parades of rigor.

The town of Cusco prepares for the party from many days before June 24, when the esplanade fills the square in front of which rises the fortress of Sacsayhuamán.

In the midst of a thousand musical aires, delegates of the four of them parade in their typical costumes and also, as coming from other times, ñustas, coyas and pallas, which advance in undulating columns. Finally, suddenly, the Inca reveals himself. The sovereign is transported on a litter that in the legendary era was of gold and silver and accompanied by a retinue of orejones and other dignitaries that walk at respectable distance of him.

The festival in honor of the Sun God is performed in the presence of the Inca, the Willaq Uma or High Priest, Tarpuntay, Wirapirikuq and Kallparikuy, as well as the nobles and representatives of the panacas, using three impressive historical and natural scenarios :

  • Inti Raymi – Coricancha

    Qorikancha (Golden Siege): Main temple of Cusco dedicated to the Sun, where it is said the golden garden (the first rituals of the cult of the Apu Inti (Dios Sol) and the Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) were held here. Buried numerous offerings, whose evidences found in 1972 are in the Garcilaso Museum of the Ministry of Culture).

  • Inti Raymi – Main Square

    The Plaza Mayor (the old Huaqaypata): In time of the Incas, in this immense plaza the ceremony was fully developed in the middle of the great Ushno (ceremonial platform).

  • Inti Raymi – Sacsayhuaman

    Saqsayhuaman (a voice that derives from the Quechua words “Sacsay” and “Huaman”). It is located at 3,555 meters above sea level, one kilometer from the Inca district of Qollqanpata. It was the Royal House of the Sun and temple consecrated to the Ray, according to Garcilaso. Takes place the central part of the contemporary Inti Raymi before an impressive crowd.


With almost 60 years of existence, the new Inti Raymi is now inseparable part of the life of Cusco. It is not only the central act of the month in the city, but its fame has transcended the Peruvian borders and also, within them, has been the example for other festivals of national identity.

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