This is a special day for my readers in Peru, and for anyone who has Incan ancestry! For today, is Inti Raymi!
Inti was the ancient god of the sun, worshipped during the Inca Empire, and today was famously his day to feast with the goddess of the earth, Pachamama.
Now, traditionally it was held on the 21st, to mark the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere, but with the spread of Christian settlers and invaders the festival was moved to avoid overlap with any feasts they may have had at this time.
Given the all-powerful influence Inti and Pachamama had over mankind’s fate, sacrifices and feasts like this were essential for survival, and the bright, joyous atmosphere of these events gave the people something to enjoy in the harsh winter months! Maybe not so much the people being sacrificed, but definitely for the non-dying party goers.
For anybody thinking of going to Machu Pichu, this is the time of year to go. It’s expensive, but the festivities are gorgeous. The outifts are intricate and bright, the actors are dedicated and perform all day long, and you can see all sorts of displays: golden chariots, massive bonfires, faux sacrifices to represent the old traditions.
It’s a beautiful display, so if you do go I have but one request.
Please take photos!