Inti Raymi – Quechua
Of course, half of this great continent is on the flipside of the equator, which means winter solstice actually falls in late June rather than December. According to Peruvian chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega, Inti Raymi (or “Festival of the Sun”) was established in the early 15th century by the Inca emperor Pachacutec and was celebrated every year until it was outlawed by Catholic priests in 1535.
Traditionally the new years celebration lasted nine days and involved dances and animal sacrifices to Pachamama. In more remote indigenous communities throughout the Andes, the celebration has been preserved through the ostensibly Catholic festival of San Juan Bautista, while a recreation of the original pre-Columbian festival takes place every year at the archaeological site Saksaywaman on June 24th.
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