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Here Comes the Sun! 14 Worldwide Solstice Celebrations

Fodor's Logo By Ashley M. Biggers of Fodor's | Slide 1 of 14: Dating to the days of the Incan Empire, Inti Raymi venerates Inti, the sun god. Though it’s also marked in June, the festival is a winter solstice holiday in the southern hemisphere. It’s celebrated throughout the Andes, but Cusco, the former capital of the Incan Empire, is the center of the action. The pagan festival was banned throughout the Spanish conquest, but since 1944, Amerindian descendants have donned traditional dress, including woven Aya Huma rainbow masks, to sing, dance, and participate in colorful pageantry on June 24. The celebration begins when the rainbow Inti Raymi flag is raised over Cusco, and the Sapa Inca (the nobility) addresses the crowd to thank the sun god for his blessings. The Sapa Inca goes full-on royal and climbs into a throne, which is then carried five kilometers to the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, where the participants reenact rituals and (fake) sacrifices.

14 Worldwide Solstice Celebrations, book your trips!

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