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Christmas Holiday in Saraguro! December’s Kichwa Kapak Raymi Festival and Navidad Celebrations

  A "two-faced Wiki" Saraguro in the Andes Mountains of Southern Ecuador is a mecca for the celebration of Kichwa culture. Four annual festivals or ‘Raymis’ during the solstices and equinoxes commemorate Saraguro’s majority indigenous community’s connection to their ancient Incan heritage. In December every year, Kapak Raymi, Cápac or Qhapac from the Peruvian Quechua for ‘wise,’ is a pre-Hispanic tribute to the sun that is reenacted during the southern hemisphere’s summer solstice at the end of the Western calendar year. Not to be outdone, indigenous Kichwa and mestizo community members of Saraguro who identify also as Catholic organize in tandem an elaborate Christmas celebration or ‘Navidad.’ Make no mistake that although this is a Christian holiday, Saraguro’s public Christmas festival is still very much a unique creation and expression of their culture. The complementary days-long observances of Saraguro’s Kapak Raymi and Navidad commencing during the final annual solstic

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