Inti Raymi: Experience Cusco’s Spectacular Sun Festival


Holidays in Peru can be a remarkable experience, and Inti Raymi is at the top of the list! Happening in late June, this celebration recreates the initial Incan celebration from 6 centuries back. Carried out in 3 various lovely outside areas with around 800 individuals, Inti Raymi includes an Incan king and queen, fancy outfits, and awesome dancing.

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Now let’s discuss Inti Raymi!

What is Inti Raymi?

Inti Raymi implies “Festival of Inti” in Quechua, the most extensively spoken native language in Peru. As god of the sun, Inti was the most essential spiritual figure of the strong Inca civilization, which especially prospered throughout the fifteenth century. Because Inti was the sun god, Inti Raymi is the Festival of the Sun.

Nowadays, this celebration honoring the Incan custom is hung on June 24 in Cusco, Peru, a city called on the UNESCO’sWorld Heritage List It draws in about 70,000 visitors! As one of the most considerable Peruvian vacations, Inti Raymi occurs on 3 phases and consists of dance, music, and acting– all carried out in stunning native clothes of intense colors and complex stitchwork. Have a look at these impressive photographs and experience the enjoyment of the event in the video listed below!

How was Inti Raymi commemorated throughout Incan times?

This celebration was commemorated in Cusco, the capital of the Incan Empire from 1412 to 1572. As an empire, the Incas managed a broad swath of area, and in 1430, the emperor Pachacutec developed the event as a method to manage those who resided in his area. Each year, they took a trip to the capital to use items as homage.

After the arrival of the Spanish in 1532, the last main Inti Raymi was held a year later on and forbade entirely within 4 years. Private events still happened into the eighteenth century, often overlapping with the Corpus Christi event.

Inti Raymi was held (and continues to be held) on the winter season solstice. Because Peru remains in the southern hemisphere, the solstice occurs on June 21. Due to the fact that the Incas thought they were sent out from the sun, the celebration was a suggestion of their origins in addition to the start of the brand-new year and longer days of sunshine.

Lasting a number of weeks, the celebration was commemorated with dancing, animal sacrifices, forefather praise, and processions– consisting of the procession of mummified previous Incan kings!

In 1944, a leisure of Inti Raymi was carried out based upon the work of a Spanish-Incan chronicler from the 16th century, and the date of the event was completely altered to June 24. Ever since, the celebration has actually happened every year.

How is Inti Raymi commemorated today?

Occurring in 3 acts and 3 areas in Cusco, Inti Raymi is now the most essential celebration of Peru. It starts at the Qorikancha Temple then approaches the primary square while the majority of visitors wait for the primary event at Sacsayhuman *. Over 100 other associated occasions happen previously and after Inti Raymi around this time of year. The dancing, outfits, and setting are simply a few of the important things that make Inti Raymi so unique.

Take an appearance at this beautiful video highlighting a few of the minutes of Inti Raymi.

* Note that the spelling of these native names might differ somewhat throughout sources! This takes place in part due to the fact that the composed standardization of these languages is a sluggish procedure.


Qorikancha Temple

The celebrations start around 9:00 a.m. at the Qorikancha Temple. Because the event represents the event of individuals from the previous Incan Empire, which was divided into 4 worlds called suyu, individuals impersonated soldiers represent each suyu from the north, south, east, and west. Stars enacting flower handlers and female spiritual specialists likewise appear. Artists play drums and flutes as others dance and sing.

Then, the star playing the ruler ( el Inca) carries out the sun salute and directs the group to proceed to the next setting. A starlet representing his partner ( la Coya) likewise appears, highlighting the essential political function she played. El Inca’s generals reveal up. Others representing the royal entourage accompany them and later on bring el Inca and la Coya on litters or palanquins as everybody continues to stroll to the primary square.


Cusco Main Square

About 2 hours after the event starts, the procession reaches Cusco’s primary square called Huakaypata in Quechua and la Plaza de las Armas in Spanish. This act is called el Encuentro de los Tiempos (the Encounter of Times) throughout which el Inca asks the Cusco mayor to take care of the matters of the area. Incan priests exist to do a reading of the cacao leaves, which the priest then goes over with fellow priests and generals.



Around 1:30 p.m. the primary event occurs on a preconstructed usnu ( or ushnu), a kind of pyramidal platform, at a historical site. As the entourage gets here, they speak Quechua.

Four areas present what is in impact their yearly report before the routines start. These include fire, the simulated sacrifice of a llama, and chicha de jora, an ancient corn-based fermented beverage thought about to be spiritual, which is various from the popular chicha morada (purple chicha). There’s the


, an outburst of popular appreciation.municipal organization Tips for going to Inti Raymi

Although it is possible to see the occasion from the complimentary bleachers, we suggest purchasing a ticket ahead of time. For 2023, tickets were less expensive for Qorikancha, with an expense of about $25 USD for immigrants. For Sacsayhuaman, tickets were divided by color and cost $160 for the orange or red zone, and $105 for the green zone. It is likewise possible to purchase tickets that permit you to go to both the 3rd and very first acts. Tickets are offered through several business, a few of that include transport, or through this Cusco

  • For the Cusco celebration, all visitors need to provide recognition. Immigrants will require to reveal a passport. Please consult the authorities if you wish to take your passport card rather, as 2024 guidelines have yet to be released. Aside from the above, we suggest taking the following:
  • Sunscreen or a hat: Even though it will be winter, you’ll still be close to the equator and at a high elevation, so safeguard yourself from the sun!
  • Warm clothing: It might be cold early in the early morning, so layer up.
  • Comfortable shoes: You’ll be strolling a lot!
  • Water and treats: Though there will be suppliers, crowds are huge, so you may wish to bring a couple of things along.

A little money:


It’s constantly excellent to have a little money on hand in case charge card makers are down.

Some fantastic news: Festival organizers have actually made an effort to lower the carbon footprint of the celebration by forbiding items offered in plastic or styrofoam!languages spoken in Peru Do I require to understand Spanish to comprehend the events of Inti Raymi?

There are over fifty

, the majority of which are native and consist of Quechua, a language that has actually affected Peruvian Spanish and even a couple of English words. While the 3 main languages are Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara, you’ll mainly hear the very first 2 while checking out Cusco. basic Spanish phrases and vocabulary The Inti Raymi events will be kept in Quechua, however do not fret! You might discover some suppliers offering handouts that describe the story. Beginning in 2019, Inti Raymi started offering a pre-recorded translation in English, French, German, and Spanish by method of an application offered on electronic gadgets, so you do not require to comprehend Quechua or Spanish to take pleasure in the occasions. The professional acting and motion are able and rather meaningful to describe much of the context without language. That stated, we ‘d still suggest finding out some Spanish before your journey!


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What other Incan celebrations are still held today?

Inti Raymi is not the only Incan celebration kept in Peru or other parts of South America. Keep in mind that the Incan Empire covered parts of the nations we now call Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile.

  • While the most significant Inti Raymi celebration occurs in Cusco, smaller sized events happen in other previous Incan areas. Among the most popular ones, positioning a big focus on ceremonial dancing, is kept in Shuracpamba (Sarapamba) in Ecuador. Other Incan celebrations in Peru consist of:
  • Warachikuy: Originally a test of physical abilities for boys, this celebration, held near Cusco in September, presently includes competitors, dancing, and rites. Raymi Llaqta: For this event called the Fiesta del Pueblo (Celebration of individuals), churchgoers from the Amazon area satisfy in Chachapoyas for
  • albazo (conventional band music), a procession, local food, and fireworks.
  • Quyllurit’ i: Also taking place around the time of the winter season solstice and held near Cusco, this celebration includes catholic and native spiritual acts to commemorate the stars and the harvest. Dance and music are the highlights of this event.

Pachamama Raymi:

This celebration honors the Earth Mother goddess on August 1 in both Peru and Ecuador. On this day, farmers quit working to prepare food to be provided to Mother Earth. An Andean priest then holds an event. Conventional tunes and dances are carried out, and charming fabric displays are on display screen for visitors.

Learn Spanish to check out Peru and beyond

Attending Inti Raymi in Cusco can be a memorable experience. With its Incan origins, complex fabrics, and stunning theatrics, it’s a celebration like no other on the planet. Peru as a nation provides whatever from advanced cities to lovely beaches along with, of course, Machu Picchu and tasty food.

Aside from facilitating your understanding of Inti Raymi, you can enhance your journey and engage with the residents in significant methods if you find out even fundamental Spanish before you go. Not just can Rosetta Stone reduce you into Spanish with immersive knowing, however every lesson consists of TruAccent, offering immediate feedback on your pronunciation!

Written by Rowena Galavitz(*) Rowena Galavitz is a Spanish translator, multilingual copy editor, and language and literature trainer with 3 master’s degrees who enjoys Spanish and all things Mexico.(*)


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