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Inti Raymi the Sun God Festival in Saraguro, Loja, Ecuador

  The Inti Raymi festival every June in Saraguro, Ecuador, is Loja's closest living link to the great Incan Empire that once dominated all of western South America. 'Inti,' the name of the Incan sun god, and 'raymi,' the Quechua word for festival, is considered the most important of the four sacred festivals celebrated by indigenous Andean cultures every year. Inti receives the people’s offerings on the longest day of the year corresponding to the summer solstice. During Incan times before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, Inti Raymi was the largest of the four original ceremonies celebrated in Cusco, Peru, at the heart of their powerful empire. Multicultured writer "Inca" Garcilaso de la Vega, who was of both Incan and Spanish heritage, witnessed the pageantry during colonial times before it was banned in 1535 by Spanish viceroy Francisco de Toledo. Toledo considered it a pagan ceremony and contrary to the Catholic faith. Nonetheless, son god ritu

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