Inti Raymi, or 'Sun Festival', is Peru's most popular cultural festival and the second biggest held in South America, following the Carnaval held Rio de Janeiro. The festival is also celebrating in Bolivia, Argentina, and Ecuador.
Inti Raymi was a traditional religious ceremony of the Inca Empire to honor the Sun God, who was the most revered god in the Inca religion. Fearing the lack of sun and famine, the ancient people gathered in the town of Cuzco to plead for the sun god's return. It is celebrated during the Winter Solstice on or around June 24.
Now, Inti Raymi is reenacted as a theatrical representation and especially in the city of Cuzco, Peru, preparation and celebration for the festival takes place over nine days. Celebrations include processions, dancing in colorful costumes, street fairs, eating, and music performances.
In Quechua, the indegenous langauges spoken by the people living in the Peruvian Andes and highlands of South America, Inti means 'Sun' and Raymi means 'Celebration'.