Kondor Path Tours

Qoyllur Rit’i Festival in Cusco

TRADITIONS: The Lord of Qoyllur Rit’i, America’s largest indigenous festival. The pilgrimage to the Shrine of Mr. Qoyllur Riti is the reunion of the Andean man with his faith and his Apu Tutelar, the Ausangate. It is considered the most significant pilgrimage in America and undoubtedly is one of the most important religious festivals of the Andean world in Cusco.

Every year during the last “Killa Hunt’asqa” (Full Moon), the Intiq Raymi (Winter Solstice Sun Festival) does celebrate in the snowy Awsanqateq (6165 meters), the most prominent spiritual and religious pilgrimage of the Andean world Contemporary and America’s most significant indigenous holiday.

The inhabitants of the district of Ocongate (Quispicanchis), in the department of Cusco, perform a rite whose external symbol is the image of Christ. Still, its underlying objective is to integrate man with nature; the people of this place are devotees of Taytacha Qoyllur Rit’i (The Lord of the Bright Snow). Taytacha Qoyllur Rit’i is an ancient religious practice practiced only by the inhabitants of the Andes. Each year, a few days before the celebration of Corpus Christi, each small town or clan sends a delegation of colorful dancers and “pabluchas” to the Lord’s Chapel of Ritty Qoyllur.

The ritual, associated with the fertility of the earth and the Apus’ worship, forms part of one of America’s largest indigenous festivals. The main ceremony takes place at the foot of the snow-covered Ausangate. The ritual consists of a pilgrimage of shepherds, merchants, and curious people who gather at the Sinakara Shrine in Mawayany, 4600 meters above sea level.

According to the myth, the Child Jesus, disguised as a shepherd, appeared to an Indian child, Marianito Mayta, and they became friends. When the parents found them dressed in rich robes, they told the parish priest of Pedro de Landa, who tried to capture him but without success because the Child appeared as a stone in the area of the Child. Marianito died immediately, and what fixed the image of the Lord of Qoyllur Rit’i on the rock?

Pilgrimage to Mr. de Qoyllur Rit’i

The pilgrimage to the shrine of Mr. de Qoyllur Rit’i is performed every year in May or June. The date is not exact due to the Andean calendar, but it is between these two months. The festival of Mr. De Qoyllur Rit’i is one of the Andean festivities in Sinacara that congregates an endless number of pilgrim people devotees of the miraculous image. The entire populations of southern Peru, also called Nations that are organizations of comparsas and devotees, come from different places in the provinces of Cusco.

After a five-hour walk, you will reach the sanctuary of Señor. De Qoyllur Rit’i, then you have to make the salute of honor to the image of Christ miraculous. In the afternoon, all the comparsas enter through Nations; almost 200 comparsas give their official salutation that lasts virtually all night and accompanies dancers that symbolize diverse mythical personages. The “pablitos” or “ucucos” who are the intermediaries between the Lord of Qoylloriti and the men and those who maintain the discipline during the liturgical acts are people dressed in bear (black suit made of thick cloth and wool, with a chullo) Who keep order and the Peace that also call the soldiers of the Lord. The feast begins on the Most Holy Trinity when more than 10,000 pilgrims ascend to the limit of perpetual snow. Minimum temperatures are -4 ° C. The road does accompany by a procession, fireworks, and the symbolic market of the Alacitas (miniature handicraft fair).

After doing the ritual at sunrise, the mid-day does lower from the snow in a caravan headed by the cavalry towards the sanctuary; Hours later, the central mass does carry out the procession of Mr. de Ccoyllorritti. Represented by Mr. de Tayancani, it concludes with the farewell of each comparsa, giving chants or (Watascama). The gentleman returns towards the population of Mahuayani, soon to embark On their places of origin. The day of the serenade begins with liturgical ceremonies in honor of Christ’s miraculous, also called peasant christ.

In the afternoon, the serenade begins with a dance show parading through the atrium and inside of the sanctuary; At midnight, a group of solid Queros, inhabitants of which perhaps is the purest Quechua community of Peru. Disguised as pabluchas, he goes out to the Nevado (6,362 meters), and the place also performs baptisms of the new dancers and trials by the ancestral guards. Punish people who have made mistakes to purify them. Back to their communities, these strong settlers carry large blocks of ice on their backs to symbolically water their lands with the sacred water of the Ausangate.

Qoyllur Rit’i, The end of the procession, occurs in the ancient Inca capital of Cusco with the processions of Corpus Christi; the streets and squares are full of people, music, and color.

Kimichu mentions the following:

The pilgrimage to the shrine of Qoyllur Rit’i is an event that condenses reality for us children of the Andes. Then the group soul is tuned in by dancers, paulluchas, and pilgrims to put all the times, the fields, the illusions, and the life itself in an extended collective sigh.

Because he, crossing the sky with a massive fire tail, sealed a secret and unfathomable pact of love that made the entrails of the Ukhu Pacha rumble all over the Andes’ backbone and splashed the seeds of the ancient Ayllus and Panacas. These ravines tint green with the coastal sands. Between the waters, the lush forests wind towards the east, but especially between the myriad inter-Andean valleys, we renew each full moon before the winter solstice, that eternal moment in which Mother Nature chooses the eternal snow from the holy mountain Sankara.

  • Location: Cusco Region.
  • Date: last week of May and the 1st week of June.
  • Useful data
  • Location: Sinakara (4700 masl), district of Ocongate, province of Quispicanchi.
  • Climate: cold and dry
  • Prom temperature: 02 ° C (36 ° F).


It is the most significant pilgrimage of indigenous nations in America. More than 10 thousand people arrive in Sinakara, at the foot of the snowy Ausangate (6362 masl), to worship a painting of the Child Jesus. It is very symbolic of the ascent of a group of strong Queros to the summits of the snowy one to look for the Star of the Snow (Qoyllur Ritt’i), locked in its entrails. Returning to their Quechua communities, they will carry large ice blocks to irrigate their lands with holy water.


  • By air: daily flights Lima – Cusco (1 h).
  • The land route is Lima – Cusco (via Arequipa), 1650 km (24 hours).

Sources: Kimichu Community KHIPU Ayllu -Nation Tawantinsuyu

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