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Inti raymi which  means ” Festival of the sun” or  ” festivity of the sun”, was once  one of the most important festivities of the inca period, it is an andean ceremony held in honor of  Tayta Inti ( the Sun God), which is carried out each winter solstice  june 21 at the time of the incas ( but is currently celebrated every june 24).

Currently represented in the esplanade of the archaeological center of Saqsayhuaman – Cusco, with the presence of foreign and national visitors, nowadays it is considered a ceremony of tourist interest.

The Inti Raymi was instituted by ninth Inca “Pachacuteq” at the time of 1430 Ad, as part of its political-administrative reorganozation of the Inca state, and was a ritual to ligitimize the control of the entire inca territory over the subject people. the winter solstice festivity was one of the largest ceremonies in honor of the Sun.

Where  tthe four regions of he empire called  “Tawantisuyo” were present in the esplanade  of Qoricancha where the firts rite was held an then went to Wakaypata  now now the main square of Cusco and finally the inca went to the esplanade of Saysayhuaman to perform the rite of sacrifice the black Llama. The  Inca as leader politician – religious gave beginning to this ritual where they implored that the sun god did not move away, the june 21 the sun is at the furthest point from the earth and begins the winter season.

The other festival was Capac Inti Raymi (festival of the great sun) summer solstice, december  21 in the southern hemisphere said festivity lasted ip to 15 days in the which there were dances form different regions of the inca territory, ceremonies and sacrifices of llamas.

In 1572 the virrey Francisco Alvarez de Toledo (1515 – 1585) banned this festival ( along with the other main celebrations originated) to consider it a pagan ceremony and contrary  to the catholic faith. it continued to be carried out clandestinely, as a protest to the ” extirpation of idolatries”.

In 1944, the Cusco intellectual and artist Faustino Espinoza Navarro composed a historical reconstruction of the inti raymi to attrac the tourist flow to Cusco and as part of the week  of this city, which includes the Corpus Christi. It was decided to change the original date(solstice of  june 21) for the 24th of the same month, since in the government of president A. leguia this date had been decreed as the “Day of the Peassant”. In addition, june 24 is the festival of San Juan, which represented a non-working day and therefore facilitatedthe presenceof the public.

The reconstruction is based on the chronicle of Garcilaso de la Vega and only refers to the political – religious ceremony. From that date onwards (year 1944), the ceremony returns to be a public event and of great tourist attraction. although today we know this celebration is with Quechua name of Inti Raymi, in realityit is a festivity common to many pre-hipanic peoplesof the andes, and that surely predates the formation of the inca Empire.

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