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Festival of the Sun: Inti Raymi 2014

28 March 2014

Cusco has many motives to see and has the biggest fest in the city that includes the archaeological complexes like Sacsayhuaman and Koricancha. Into these places we celebrate the festival of the sun or call Inti Raymi in runasimi language.

This festivity back to times before the conquerors came here to destroy all vestige of our great culture, 'cause the inca culture made this festitivity to pay tribute to the mallkis or dead people that will changed their lifes into the Inca cosmology. The first place where was held Inti Raymi was into the Inca Roca palace that it is located in this days in Archbishop museum on Hatunrumiyoc street. Later than that, this festivity it change to Main Square or Waycaypata (runasimi language and means in english "Laments Square".

Today in Cusco, Inti Raymi celebrates in several days of street parties and processions surround Cusco. On June 24th itself, the ceremony is an all-day affair involving hundreds of costumed actors recreating this ancient rite.

It all starts at 9am, when the Inti Churin (son of the sun) suddenly appears, emerging from the most important shrine – the Koricancha. He extends an invitation to the people to attend the ceremony that ends nine hours later at Sacsayhuaman, the archaeological complex about two kilometres north of Cusco.

The Inti Churin is then carried on a litter by a troupe of bearers to the city’s main plaza, the Plaza de Armas, where 100 musicians announce his arrival on pututos (seashell horns). In their midst are more extravagantly costumed banner carriers. These are all followed by a group of women using branches of cedroncillo, a leafy native plant, to sweep away evil spirits. Leading the latter group are about 30 Nustakunas, or chosen women, who scatter the yellow flowers of the retama plant. Thirty more women tote wicker baskets of fruit and edible tubers, as well as idols and golden amulets. During this grand procession, everyone dances to the music of the pututo, the quena and drums that seem to reverberate through the ground.

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