Kick-off Inti Raymi 2016

Wednesday May 4, 2016
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Kick-off Inti Raymi 2016

Last week, on 27th of April the big opening of the important Inti Raymi festival took place in one of the most important churches/temples in Cusco, the Qoricancha.

Inti Raymi is the festival of the sun and takes place the 24th of June. It is a religious event to honour the sun and is held during the winter solstice (when the sun is furthest from the Earth). It is an ancient celebration and it is meant to honour a new cycle of life by making sacrifices and offerings to the Sun God. This is because the Incas were considered to be natural children of the Sun.

The festival itself will also start at the Qoricancha with a special ceremony, then it will continue at the main square for further festivities. As every year, it will finally end in Saqsaywaman, an Inca temple in the mountains of Cusco, where the most important part of Inti Raymi will be celebrated.

The preparations for the opening took two days, they build stages in the gardens of the temple, and prepared the illumination and sound. The colourful opening began at 7pm with Andean music, dances and songs in Quechua.

There was a big screen on the corner of the garden so that everybody could enjoy the show. The actors were standing on the sacred walls of the temple of the sun to represent the Great Inca Empire. The show was very impressive with lights shining on the walls creating different figures in several colours accompanied by Andean music and natural instruments imitating birds and the wind. The performers were wearing customs of warriors, princesses (ñustas), and priests.

This performance indicated the start of the festival season.

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