The Inca civilization were true sun worshippers. For an Enchanting experience, join in with modern-day celebrations with a trip to Peru in June.
The Inca Emperor, Sapa Inca, was worshipped as a living god and was said to be the descendent of the Sun God Apu Inti.
Each year, the Incas would celebrate the sun at the end of harvest time and, with the winter solstice and a New Year ahead, would request the Sun God to produce more crops the following year.
This nine-day festival, called Inti Raymi, took place with the rising of the new sun and would begin with a period of abstinence and scarcity. Sapa Inca would offer chica (corn liquor) to the Sun God and the Incan High Priest would perform a llama sacrifice.
After religious observations were over, citizens would celebrate with music, colorful dances and more chicha.
After the Spanish Conquest and the fall of the Inca Empire, the Catholic Church considered Inti Raymi to be a pagan ritual and so banned it in 1572. However many indigenous cultures throughout the Andes still celebrate it today.
Celebrate Inti Raymi
Since 1944 there has been a historical reconstruction of this Inca ceremony in Cusco, Peru, within the archaeological complex of Sacsayhuaman.
Today though, the Inca traditions have been adapted – for example animal sacrifice is simulated. Both locals and guests enjoy street celebrations of live music and dance within the Main Square (Plaza de Armas).
June 24 is the day that marks the Inti Raymi each calendar year.
Did you know? Inti Raymi is the largest and most important South American fiesta after the carnival in Rio!
Will you be there to join in the festivities? Receive travel advice and plan your tailor-made trip with your Enchanting Travels Consultant today!