Inti Raymi Day

Inti Raymi is a public holiday observed annually on June 24th in Peru. It is a holiday based on an Incan festival that celebrates the winter solstice. In the Southern Hemisphere, the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and marks the beginning of the Incan New Year.

Originally, when the Inca Empire celebrated this holiday, it was observed in Cusco in the main plaza (also known as Haukaypata). Modern celebrations involve people wearing colorful costumes, music, and sharing food with one another. As with ancient ceremonies, these modern ceremonies are designed to symbolize the mythical origin of the Inca people.

The History of Inti Raymi in Peru

The winter solstice was an important time of the year for ancient Incans. After this day, the length of each day begins to increase again. Four ceremonies would be celebrated over the course of the year, and Inti Raymi was one of the most important ones.

This ceremony would last for nine days and was marked by not only ceremonial greetings to the sun but also through dancing and colorful processions. It was a day that celebrated the Incan people’s origins and their hopes for a good harvest season.

Spanish colonists and Catholic priests ended up banning the ceremony, and it remained banned for over 400 years. It was eventually revived in 1944 and has been celebrated by the indigenous cultures of the Andes ever since.

Observing Inti Raymi in Peru

This holiday is a major tourist attraction in Cusco, and people from all around the world attend the ceremonies. That is why the city center is closed on this day to regular traffic. Attendees can see colorful dancing, processions, and ceremonial events. To spread the word about this holiday, the hashtag #IntiRaymi can be used on social media.

Where is it celebrated?
Peru (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
June 24 Monday
Next year (2025)
June 24 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
June 24 Saturday