In Peru, the annual sun festival was celebrated with traditional enthusiasm in the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco on Monday (26 June).
In Peru, the annual sun festival was celebrated with traditional enthusiasm in the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco on Monday (26 June). The festival marked the beginning of the New Year in the Inca solar calendar.
SYNOPSIS: Large crowds began to gather in a square early in the morning, ready for the ceremony. It began as the first rays of the sun broke through. To Peruvians, the festival is known as Into Raymi, named after Inti, the sun god, who was the ranking deity in the Inca pantheon. He was considered to be the Incas' divine ancestor. According to legend, his warmth embraced the Andean earth and matured crops. As such, he was particularly loved by framers.
Ancient Peruvians regarded the sun as the font of life, or life itself permeating all things, and revered it as god. They wanted to express their gratitude on a date when, they thought, god would communicate with man. And for this reason, they chose a date in June which also marked the New Year's Day in the Inca solar calendar.
In ancient times, the ritual ceremony was performed in Haukaypata -- now known as the Plaza de Armas of Cuzco. It used to be attended by those especially chosen from the four suyus, or regions, of the country. Up to 60,00 people took part, filling all the squares of the city, filling all the squares of the city.
The religion of the sun god was imposed in Peru after the year 1200 when Incase began their conquests. However the Incas did allow the native Peruvians to keep their dress, customs and certain religious observances that did not conflict with the cult of the sun. With the arrival of the Spaniards and Christianity, the cult was suppressed.
Despite centuries of effort, Christianity has not succeeded in eradication pagan elements. In the sixteenth century, Spanish viceroy Don Francisco Toledo abolished the sun festival. But it was revived in 1944. Since then, it has been celebrated like this, each year.