After experiencing a pandemic that paralyzed the world for at least two years, Cusco - Peru was no exception, because during all that time many activities were stopped, archaeological sites could not be visited and especially the realization of the Fiesta del Sol or Inti Raymi was suspended.
Before the pandemic, throughout the month of June, homage is paid to the Inca capital of Cusco, where the participation of authorities, companies and the same citizens of Cusco and its provinces who arrive at the Plaza Mayor to participate in the activities programs that are held.
This year 2023 all the activities that are scheduled for the month of June will be resumed and the festive parades, the parades of both public and private institutions, schools, universities, institutes participate with folkloric parades.
But this is not all, there is also the typical dish of the region such as the Chiriuchu, the departure of the saints known as the Corpus Christi and the biggest party the Inti Raymi, in short; to return to perform these activities full of energy, revelry and reunion of many cusqueños in their streets, neighborhoods, etc..
In this article we will detail each of the activities that take place during certain dates in the month of June.
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This date is very important, as it is the first day of the month an offering to the Pachamama or Mother Earth is made thanking for her protection, crops and livestock, in the same way the good start of the holidays is requested.
During the offering, thanks are also given to the Apus Salkantay and Pachatusan, offering them the traditional coca leaf and chicha for the success of the festivities and that brotherhood reigns in every celebration.
On the other hand, the institutions and inhabitants are in charge of decorating the city and its roofs with the Cusquenian flag, a series of activities where the Inca and the coya or wife are present along with their royal retinue, artists and more are presented in order to kick off this jubilee month;
On the other hand, we have another ancestral festival where we see the fusion of religious and Andean cultural syncretism, brings together thousands of pilgrims who go in prayer, with dances, musicians in devotion to the Christ who is on the rock, the Lord of Qoyllur Rit'i.
This religious festivity is carried out in the district of Ocongate, province of Quispicanchis, generally it takes place at the end of May or first weeks of June, its date is variable, being this way very waited by all its parishioners, at the same time it is also visited by tourists;
The feast of Corpus Christi is one of the other festivities that takes place in the city of Cusco, because in ancient times the Incas made this Andean festival where they carried their mummies and made the parade throughout the main arteries of the city.
When the Spaniards arrived, this tradition changed and was replaced by saints, that is where the Andean and Spanish culture merged; today the people of Cusco continue to perform this procession, a party full of colors, dances and gastronomic fairs.
Coincidentally, it is held in the month of June and after the feast of the Lord of Qoyllur Rit'i, the date is movable, but always touches with a Thursday where all the saints enter the Cathedral. These are the fifteen saints: San Antonio, San Jerónimo, San Cristóbal, San Sebastián, Santa Bárbara, Santa Ana, Santiago, San Blas, San Pedro, San José, Virgen de la Natividad, Virgen de los Remedios, Virgen Purificada, Virgen de Belén, Virgen Inmaculada.
During this week of religious festivities, you can also taste the flag dish of the city of Cusco, we are talking about the Chiriuchua traditional dish that is eaten cold.
This dish is composed of: baked guinea pig, boiled chicken, charqui or jerky, blood sausage, chorizo, cochayuyo (Andean seaweed), tortilla, corn toast, cheese, cau cau (fish roe), rocoto for the spiciness of the dish, traditionally the dish is eaten cold and derives from Quechua where Chiri means cold and Uchu means spicy so it would be "cold chili".
These dishes are sold in Plaza San Francisco, San Pedro and Plaza de Santiago at a cost of 25 to 30 soles.
This day all the educational institutions of the initial level pay tribute to the imperial city with a variety of traditional dances to our city, the little ones will participate with their teachers full of colors. Some dressed in ponchos, chullos and others will be dressed in traditional costumes that will decorate the day with the natural charm of our children.
This activity will take place in the Plaza Mayor of Cusco.
Just as our children paid tribute to the imperial city, now it is the turn of the primary school students, this day all the students of the primary schools either national or private meet to salute their land of Cusco for their day.
Our students will celebrate with different dances that identify the Andean culture, their costumes will be full of colors and above all the energy will not be lacking, this activity will be seen in the Plaza Mayor of the city of Cusco.
On Tuesday 13, secondary schools participate with a traditional presentation in which the entire staff of teachers and students are part of this party, usually the students of each grade and institution present a myriad of traditional dances to pay tribute to our beloved city; this activity begins very early and depending on the institutions and culminates the activity.
Our young people come with all the energy and enthusiasm, because this day they will present the different traditional dances chosen by each grade, section; we know that many of them practiced the dances weeks in advance.
This is a way to pay tribute to our Cusco with every smile, strength in their choreography and above all to carry high those colors and Andean culture. All are presented in the Plaza Mayor of Cusco.
During the week of Corpus Christi the 15 saints are taken out of their churches (this is done days before Corpus Christi) to gather all in the Plaza Mayor and then enter the Cathedral of Cusco. In this place they remain for 8 days, there all the saints are taken out and taken to their respective temples, this is called Octave;
Days before the celebration of the feast of the Sun or Inti Raymi, the respective institutions organize a party of lights and sound in the Plaza Mayor of Cusco in which they invite various artists, there is a fireworks show, and more.
This party is free, at no cost and all tourists and nationals can attend to enjoy the show.
On this day the Universidad Nacional Diego Quise Tito is the protagonist, since on this day all students make a parade with their allegorical representations that have great size. These images represent our culture and are prepared months in advance.
A few days before celebrating the Inti Raymi the Plaza de Armas is dressed in traditional costumes where it starts with the parade of the private university UTEA Cusco in which they will present different traditional dances of the city. Many will be dressed in poncho, multicolored chullos that go to the beat of the music;
This is how the week begins, previous years the parades were extended and went until late at night, but after having passed the emergency situation that we live, today the party begins again and it is expected that all institutions, communities, provinces and the population can pay tribute to the Imperial City.
We continue with the university parades, this time presented by the Andean University of Cusco in which all students and teachers will participate with traditional dances to pay tribute to the imperial city of the Incas.
On the third day of the week, we continue with the participation of teachers and students of the National University of San Antonio Abad del Cusco who dress in typical costumes of the city of Cusco, dance to the rhythm of the music, for this each faculty prepares and presents a number.
The parade takes place in the Main Square of Cusco, where the population attends to witness the typical dances of the region and remember the jubilee month of the city of Cusco.
We continue to celebrate and this time it is no longer schools, universities or institutions, this day we are visited by the 12 provinces who with great emotion and fervor come to the city to pay tribute to the imperial city and dress in costumes to parade in the Plaza Mayor.
Representatives of the 12 provinces and more than 80 districts who prepare dances from their respective areas and show it on this day, the activity is led by the Regional Council and their respective delegations.
On this last day of parades, more than 250 public and private institutions will be present and will not miss the opportunity to pay homage to the rhythm of the dances and musicians saluting the imperial city.
This culminates the parades of homage to the city of Cusco, to then attend the big day, the Inti Raymi.
The main day has arrived, today Saturday June 24 is celebrated the feast of the sun or Inti Raymi just when the winter solstice occurs. This date brings together local, national and foreign tourists who will live the staging of Inti Raymi in its three scenarios.
First it takes place in the Temple of Qoricancha, then in the Main Square of Cusco in these two scenarios the population can attend freely without paying any site or entrance fee, then we moved to the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman to stage the ceremony of Inti Raymi.
This party is all in Quechua and to enter the esplanade you must pay an entrance ticket; this party is attended by at least 3500 visitors and the beauty of this is that it is broadcast worldwide, now with technology will be broadcast on all platforms.
To make this festival a reality, many of the artists prepare in advance and recreate it as was the ceremony to the Sun God that was originally practiced by his children the Incas.
To purchase tickets you have to do it in advance, because they are usually finished once released for sale, so we recommend you to be aware of these dates. But there is also another option in case you do not manage to buy the tickets you can see them on the other side of the stage, usually the population of Cusco gather in these places to see and witness the party.
If you want to personally experience this Andean feeling, I invite you to travel to the imperial city of Cusco and experience its festivities like never before, remember that Cusco is dressed in multiple colors, invites you to go back in time and above all you will love its culture. Write to us and we, the tourism agency Tierra de los Andes will help you to make your visit to the city of Cusco unique and special.