Inti Raymi in Peru Date in the current year: June 24, 2016

Inti Raymi in Peru Inti Raymi is a traditional winter solstice celebration in Peru. It was originally held on the actual day of the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere (June 21), but the celebration was eventually moved to the feast day of Saint John the Baptist, June 24.

The festival of Inti Raymi was a religious ceremony that honored the Incan sun god Inti. He was worshiped as a patron deity of the Inca Empire. Inti Raymi marked the beginning of a new agricultural season. The festival was preceded with three days of fasting. The celebration itself lasted for nine days and involved colorful processions, dances, feasting and ritual animal sacrifices to ensure good crops.

The first Inti Raymi was held in the early 15th century. In 1535, the feast was banned by Spanish colonial authorities and Catholic priests. Inka Raymi was revived in 1944 as a historical reconstruction of the ancient Incan festival. It has been celebrated on June 24 since that year.

The main celebration takes place at Saksaywaman, a walled complex near the city of Cusco, the site of the historic capital of the Inca Empire. Celebrations involve colorful costumes, music, dancing and traditional food. Inti Raymi attracts thousands of tourists each year.

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Inti Raymi, cultural observance, holidays in Peru, winter solstice, Incan festival