Monday, June 24, 2013

Inti Raymi

view of Inti Raymi
I smushed into a combi on my way to Plaza de Armas, Cusco. Like everyone else in the combi I was on my way to Inti Raymi festival. Inti Raymi (aka Festival of the Sun) is the most important celebration in Cusco. It celebrates the Inca god Inti. Since 1944 a theatrical show has been put on for the public at Sacsayhuaman Inca Ruins.

I met up with my Peruvian friend to climb up to Sacsayhuaman. We joined the mass of people climbing the stairs to the ruins. On the way we were bombarded with vendors selling everything from hats to popsicles and cuy (guinea pig) to bollywood movies. We found a space on the hill overlooking the ruins of Sacsayhuaman. We waited for over 2 1/2 hours for the ceremonies to start.
crowds at Inti Raymi

It was entertaining seeing the crowed yell at each other for standing up or blocking the view. Bottles, rocks and orange peels flew through the air at people who were blocking the view. When the ceremonies started the crowed got even rowdier pushing ans shoving everyone forward to get a better view.

The actors danced and marched onto the field as drums pounded. The ceremony ends with the sacrificing of a llama, but now they sacrifice a fake llama.

fried sweet noodles
After the ceremony my friend and I walked around through the festivities. There were games to play, fussball, bouncy houses, and blow-up slides. The smell of roasting cuy (guinea pig) and anticucho (cow heart) and huatia (potatoes and oka cooking in a fire pit under ground) filled the air.

We sat down to enjoy fried egg over rice and papas fritas (french fries). We ate ducle fideos frito (sweet fried noodles) which sounds weird, but was very good. We spent the day walking around enjoying the crowed, food and sounds. Cusco was alive, everyone was on the streets enjoying what cusco does best, partying.
Cuy roasting over open fire

People dancing, playing music and putting on shows for the public. Street vendors lined the streets calling to passer-bys to come look at their goods.

After a long day I crowded onto another filled combi, that was so full that the door would not even close. Packed like sardines we rocked from side to side as the combi weaved through the streets of Cusco. I arrived back home just in time for dinner.