The Inti Raymi or Festival of the Sun was the most important religious holiday during the time of the Incas. Until today it still represents every June 24 in the architectural complex of Sacsayhuaman.
Cusco is marked by the encounter and mixture of cultural and natural riches that make it unique, different but once the indissoluble and mysterious. Its buildings, scattered throughout the Cusco department, are part of the tourist and historical attraction of the place.
Undoubtedly one of its main attractions is the Sacsayhuaman site, monumental architectural complex located in the north of Cusco, two kilometers from the city and 3671 meters above sea level. Sacsayhuaman was one of the most important strengths of the Tahuantinsuyo and is also considered one of the wonders of the world.
Each June 24, the day when the sun is at its most distant point on earth and which also coincides with the winter solstice, celebrated the Inti Raymi or "Festival of the Sun" in Sacsayhuaman, of fundamental importance in the incario .
During the time of the Incas, Inti Raymi was the most important of the four festivals held in Cusco, as related by the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. It marked the beginning of the year, as well as the mythical origin of the Inca. It lasted nine days during which dances and sacrifices were made. The last Inti Raymi who attended the Inca emperor was held in 1535.
On the night before all the fires were extinguished in the Tahuantinsuyo. In the great Huacaypata (now Plaza de Armas of Cusco) Square all the characters of the empire were concentrated.
In the shadows, the crowd waited with great respect the appearance of the god Inti (the sun). Generals, princes and all the nobility waited in silence, many of them disguised as beasts and other animals of the Andean mythology.
Appearing expressing appreciation sun and worshiped as most, only and universal God, whose light and virtue created and sustained all things of the earth. It also thanked him for the crops received in the year.
The Inca, with the help of priests, "induced" the god Inti (the sun) to return the favor of its rays to fertilize the earth and seek the welfare of the children of the great empire of Tahuantinsuyo. The sacred fire was renewed with a concave gold bracelet he wore against sunlight, whose reflections were projected on a piece of very combed cotton that was burning in a short space. The sacred fire was taken to Coricancha, where it would be kept by the acllas.
During the ceremony the sacrifice of a flame to foretell the coming year was also performed. then he went on a military march and end all retired and burst into riotous clamor for several days.
A CULTURAL DEMONSTRATION THAT REMAINS UNTIL TODAY
In 1572 the Inti Raymi was banned by Viceroy Francisco de Toledo regarded a pagan and contrary to the Catholic faith ceremony. From that date he had to be held clandestinely.
In 1944 Faustino Espinoza Navarro made a historical reconstruction of the Inti Raymi based on the chronicle of Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. Since then holding again a public event that even today is one of the main tourist attractions of our country.
Currently the Inti Raymi is a play, but also one of the most evocative traditional manifestations of our national identity because it symbolizes the values and memories of our past.
The beat of the music airs, delegates of his four parading with typical while ñustas clothing, and pallas coyas progress in rolling columns. Suddenly the Inca be seen, carried on a litter and accompanied by an entourage of dried apricots and other dignitaries who walk respectable distance from him.
While the pututus sound, bugles and flutes, the Inca stands, he extends his arms towards the horizon and pays tribute to Inti raising two large gold vessels filled with chicha.