The Inti Raymi comes from the Quechua language which means ‘Fiesta del Sol’. It is celebrated all winter solstices (between June 20 and 23) the Inca emperor offered a ritual in honor of the sun god, in the Inca era he was known as the highest divinity in the Tahuantinsuyo. Formerly he was known as Wawa Inti Raymi.
In the rule of the Inca Pachacuteq, was built the great Inca citadel of Machu Picchu by orders of the Inca, to initiate their religious traditions in the fifteenth century. In Andean or Inca beliefs, it was said that the sun began another new cycle of life.
The ceremony of the Inti Raymi is in the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, outside the imperial city of Cusco, many writers write about Sacsayhuaman, as Inca Garcilazo de Vega who said «The largest and most magnificent work that the Incas have built to reflect their power and traditions.
The Inti Raymi was prohibited by the Spaniards during the first years of the conquest alleging that it was a pagan ceremony and not in accordance with the Catholic religion, however, small ceremonies took place without major consequences. Later, during the colony, in 1572, the Viceroy Francisco de Toledo officially banned the celebration along with many other Inca traditions; Even the use of traditional Inca clothing was prohibited. The laws were introduced for all after the rebellion of the Inca heirs, as one of the Inca descendants who rebelled against the oppression of his people, was executed along with his entire family and his main collaborators, the brave Tupac Amaru I.
The modern representation of the Inti Raymi still retains all its majestic glory, albeit without the procession of ancient mummies and only a sacrifice of animals at the culmination of the day’s celebrations.
The celebrations begin in the morning on the large open court in front of the Inca Temple of the Sun – Korikancha. The Inca to begin the festivities for the sun god or Wiracocha, the representatives of the Inca empire have to be present to begin with the ceremony such as Qollasuyu, Kuntisuyu, Antisuyu and Chinchaysuyu.
Then a ceremonial reading of the sacred leaf of coca is made to predict the destiny of the Inca Empire for next year. The Inca fortress of Saqsayhuaman is the final point of the ritual of the sun wiracocha. Thousands of local spectators fill the surrounding hills to take a look at the ceremony, while in the main arena of Saqsayhuman there are first class seats in the grandstands. Dressed in full costume, the Inca utters his last words in Quechua before a ritual sacrifice of a llama. The festival ends when the air is filled with the sound of trumpets, panpipes and drums.
The Inti Raymi is developed through a schedule that takes place during the morning until the afternoon of June 24 and almost always the schedules are fixed.
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