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Inti Raymi: Festival of the Sun

Celebration of sun
The most famous Inca Festival is undoubtedly the Inti Raymi festival in Peru. Inti Raymi is celebrated annually on the shortest day of the year. However, all kinds of colourful festivities take place throughout the month of June in the lovely town of Cuzco. Inti Raymi is Quechua for Sun and Raymi celebration. It is therefore not surprising that all the festivities are aimed at honoring the great sun god Wiracocha. Every day there are parades in the Plaza de Armas with lots of music, dancing and parades, with the ultimate climax being the Inti Raymi festival on June 24. Our colleague Kimberley was there!

A centuries-old spectacle
During this ancient spectacle, the eternal bond between the sun god and his children is celebrated. The ceremony starts in the Temple of the Sun, Korincancha in Cuzco. Join together with enthusiastic locals and tourists to witness the magnificent spectacle with more than 500 participants. As accurately as possible, we try to mimic the Quechua language of the Indians as spoken by the Inca king. In front of us stands a replica of the huge golden disc that according to legend still remains sitting at the bottom of Lake Titicaca.

The party continues

By noon, the procession continues through the main square, the Plaza de Armas, to the Inca Fortress Sacsayhuaman. This fortress is also called the holy house of the sun. Further blessings and tributes are made and participants happily dance and play music. The beginning of the Inca New Year is loudly announced, accompanied by traditional music, creating a special and mysterious atmosphere. In earlier times 2 white llamas were sacrificed but fortunately this has now been replaced with a symbolic sacrifice.

Experience it for yourself!
The Inti Raymi is a wonderful party not to be missed, especially if you were planning on going to Peru anyway! Experience this colourful festival for yourself with Shoestring on any one of these trips:
* 21 -day trip - Southern Peru - departure date June 5, 2014
* 23 -day trip - Peru & Bolivia - departure date June 3, 2014
* 16 -day trip - Peru in two weeks , departure date June 11, 2014

Pictures speak louder? Have a look at these and gain a good impression of this fascinating festival:

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