The Inti Raymi ('Festival of the Sun') was an ancient Andean religious ceremony in honor of the Inti (The Sun god) that was performed on June 24th of every year until nowadays, It is performed every solstice of winter in Cusco, the capital of the Tawantinsuyo, between the final period of the harvest and the start of the winter equinox of the Andes, that is, in the second half of June. The Inti Raymi in the time of the Incas was the equivalent of what today is for us the New Year's party. The solar celebration was a celebration in which a new year began and the previous agricultural year ended between the months of May or June, and at the same time the new agricultural cycle began from July.
During the time of the Incas, the Inti Raymi was the most important of the four festivals held in Cusco, as recounted by the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1616), and indicated the half of the year as the mythical origin of the Incas. It lasted 15 days every year, in which there were dances and sacrifices. The last Inti Raymi with the presence of the Inca was made in 1535.
In 1572 the Viceroy Francisco de Toledo (1515-1584) banned it as a pagan ceremony and contrary to the Catholic religion. However, it continued to be done clandestinely.
With more than sixty years of existence, the new Inti Raymi is now an inseparable part of the traditional life in Cusco.
Inti Raymi Tour, Scenarios of the Ceremony
On June 24th, the party in honor of the Sun God, takes place in the three historical and natural scenarios that are usually used for the staging:
The Qorikancha (Golden fence): In the Inca times it was the main temple consecrated to the sun.
The Plaza de Armas (the old Auqaypata or Plaza del Guerrero): During the Incas, in this immense square, the ceremony took place entirely in the middle of the great ¨ushnu¨ or ceremonial platform.
Saqsaywaman (name derived from the Quechua terms "saqsay" and "waman" which in English means "satiated hawk"). This impressive archaeological center is located at 3,555 m.a.s.l., one kilometer from the Inca district of Qolqanpata.
In Saqsaywaman is the final staging with the following acts:
- Ceremonial location Report of the 4 ¨Suyus¨ or Regions: Qollasuyu, Kuntisuyu, Antisuyu and Chinchaysuyu.
- Rite of the Chicha (Drink made of corn)
- Rite of the Fire
- Sacred Sacrifice of the Llama (Andean camelid) and auguries
- Rite of the Sankhu (sacred bread).
- Q'ochurikuy (burst of exaltation).
Schedule of the ceremony (Tour Inti Raymi):
- 9:00 a.m. Qorikancha: Start of the staging. Duration of 30 minutes.
- 11:00 a.m. Auqaypata (Plaza de Armas): The lnka and his royal entourage enter by Inti K'ijllu street. Duration 45 minutes.
- 13:30 p.m. Central ceremony. Duration of 90 minutes.
- Entrance tickets to the VIP platform.
- Professional Guide English / Spanish.
- Box Lunch.
- Bus transportation service.
- Transfer services.
- The service is shared with other tourists.
Cost of the Inti Raymi Tour per person:
|Orange Platform||USD. 235.00|
|Green Platform||USD. 190.00|