Nuestro Inti RaymiBy: Tribu Wipala
The longest night and the shortest day of the year.
This is the beginning of the Andean year, where our Pachamama invites us to celebrate the renewal of time, water, the sun, and our life cycle. Finally, the winter solstice returns to bring us the buds, colors, and shoots of the rain.
Let us tell you a little about the history of Inti Raymi,
It is known that the Inca Pachacútec celebrated it for the first time in 1430 AD and that every year the southern hemisphere celebrated this festivity throughout the Tahuantinsuyo for 15 days. Each Inca met in the Plaza de Armas where they performed dances, drank chicha, burned coca leaves and gave llamas as a sacrifice in honor of the god Inti, with the purpose of thanking for the harvests of the year, for what is given and for what will come.
This ceremony, ritual and tradition is preserved to this day as it is an event that involves and will lead to changes in the world. However, we know that around 1572, being part of this celebration was a danger. During the colonization, Viceroy Francisco de Toledo prohibited the Fiesta del Sol with the motive of considering it pagan. This did not prevent our Tribe from being able to thank and continue dancing for their Solstice in a clandestine way. The ritual was kept secret until 77 years ago when Inti Raymi returned to the streets and the public eye as it is traditionally known.
Currently, families prepare special food with corn as the main ingredient, accompanied by pork, chickens and guinea pigs. They offer the food in a pampa table where the chicha de jora must go. The dances and ceremonies remain intact, preserving our Andean legacy.
What are you waiting to celebrate? Our Inti Raymi is not a tradition just because of the years passed but because every day it continues to be just as latent. Every food that we put into our hands, the warmth on our cheeks, the climate that embraces us, are works of this change in our Pachamama.
The Solstice changes us all and is the beginning of a new stage in our circular time.
Photography by: Ed Rendón, @_ed_rendon_