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Known as the Inti Raymi, or Sun Festival, this ancient festival was a gathering at the time of the winter solstice to honor the Sun God, with ceremonies and sacrifices to insure a fruitful year to come for crops and prosperity for the years to come. The sun festival was also an homage to "Inca", celebrated as the first son of the Sun God.

Since it appeared to the ancient Incas that the sun and the Sun God were about to disappear, as the winter solstice is the time when the sun is farthest from earth, the Incas would gather to honor the sun, and implore the Sun to return, for warmer and longer days. Participants would often fast for days before the solstice, and the cermony was crowned with a lavish feast or banquet serving corn bread, meats, tea made from coca leaves, and also chicha. Gifts were also presented to the Inca to garner favors.

As the Spanish conquistadors gained power in Peru and the new world, they banned the sun festival in the sixteenth century, as they considered it to be a pagan ritual, and the ceremony and it's adherents practiced it underground.

Today, in modern times, thousands and thousands of people gather each year in Cusco for a week-long festival in June to honor the return of the sun and the renewal of the solar year. The festival is known as Inti Raymi and brings pilgrims and travelers from all over Peru, South America and the world.

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the inca festival of the sun is a week long celebration in june

  • June 21
    to the 25th
  • Days 1-5 cusco

    Each day of the festival has its events, parades, to street fairs,
    expositions, and street dances. Local citizens dress in traditional
    costumes in the hundreds, to portray the pantheon of the Inca court
    and deities. In the evening, some of Peru's best bands play open
    concerts in Cusco's main square.

    On the actual day of Inti Raymi, June 24th, the deity known as
    Sapa Inca calls on the Sun to return in the heavens. After the
    supplication, Sapa Inca is carried in procession on a golden throne
    from main square in Cusco at the Qorikancha temple up into the
    hills to the ancient fortress at Sacsayhuaman. The throne is
    followed by high priests, nobles, and officials of the court, all decked out in elaborate and decorative robes.

    The centerpiece of the festival is the all-day celebrations on June 24, the actual day of Inti Raymi. On this day, the ceremonial events begin with an invocation by the Sapa Inca in the Qorikancha, also spelled Koricancha (pictured) square in front of the Santo Domingo church, built over the ancient Temple of the Sun. Here, the Sapa Inca calls on the blessings from the sun.

    Following the oration, Sapa Inca is carried on a golden throne, a replica of the original which weighed about 60 kilos, in a procession to the ancient fortress of Sacsayhuamán, in the hills above Cuzco. With the Sapa Inca come the high priests, garbed in ceremonial robes, then officials of the court, nobles and others, all elaborately costumed according to their rank, with silver and gold ornaments. They walk to the fortress on flower strewn streets, accompanied by music, dancing and prayers.

    At Sacsayhuaman and elaborate ceremony takes place, followed by another procession and return to Cusco.

    Here is a schedule of events for June 24th:

    Start / End Time Event / Activity
    09:00 - 09:20 Walk to the Koricancha Temple
    09:20 - 10:05 The festival will begin at Koricancha, the Inca will
    10:05 - 10:25 Walk to the Plaza de Armas
    10:25 - 10:55 Festival will continue with a ceremony at the Plaza de Armas
    10:55 - 11:25 Continue to Sacsayhuaman
    11:25 - 14:00 Ceremony at Sacsayhuaman
    14:00 - 14:30 Return to Cusco

hotels, in the area of cusco for the sun festival

Colonial Hotel Cuzco Peru

Boutique Style Hotels (In Cusco, Peru)

Some of the best hotels in Cusco, Peru are the boutique style hotels. These hotels have been converted from colonial era homes and have all the amenities of a great hotel with old world charm of colonial Peru. CALL FOR DETAILS

Sacred Valley Peru Hotel

sacred valley hotels (In the Sacred Valley of Peru)

The Sacred Valley lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu and there are at least six major hotels in this area, including Tambo del Inka, Aranwa, Rio Sagrado and many others.

Luxury Hotel Cuzco Peru

luxury hotels cuzco, peru

There are at least four major hotels in the area of Machu Picchu itself. Most of the hotels are located in the town of Aguas Caliente, just twenty minutes by shuttle below the Citadel of Machu Picchu. These are the most modern hotels in the area. CALL FOR DETAILS