Communities in Cañar Province, north of Cuenca, are planning a full schedule of Inti Raymi, or winter solstice, events June 22 through June 24. In all, twenty-four towns and villages will participate in Andean rituals practiced for hundreds of years to honor of the earth, sun and corn.
Ceremonies will begin early on the morning of June 22 in most communities, including at the Inca ruins at Ingapirca. Events include ritual dances, musical concerts, dramatic performances, parades and food and crafts fairs. The largest celebrations will be at Ingapirca and in Parque Guantug in Cañar canton.
Edgar Siguencia, president of the celebrations committee at Ingapirca, says he expects large crowds. “We cordially invite guests from out of town, and especially foreign tourists, to witness one of the most important indigenous events of the year,” he said. “Our celebration attracts more visitors every year who come to see the rituals and enjoy our traditional foods and crafts.”
According to Siguencia, there will be special tours at the Ingapirca ruins park during the three-day festival. He added that a camping area has been set aside on the grounds for those who want to stay overnight.
In Parque Guantug, in Cañar, events include dance and musical performances as well as exhibits featuring indigenous food, dress and lifestyle.
“Our living culture will be on display for all to see, how our ancestors lived, how we live today, and how we celebrate the bounty of the earth,” says Darío Loja, organizer at Guantug. “We invite everyone to come and celebrate our way of life.”
Loja and Siguencia said that their organizations are compiling a full schedule of Inti Raymi events that will be publicized in local media next week.