The Willkakuti or return of the sun is celebrated on June 21st in the pre-inca ruins of Tiwanaku. This ritual is known as the Aymara new year. The return of the sun symbolizes the reception of renewed cosmic energies and also the beginning of the new agriculture cycle.
The Andean-Amazonic New Year (Spanish: Ano Nuevo Andino Amazonico; Aymara: Willka Kuti or Return of the Sun) is a national holiday in Bolivia. It celebrates the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere and was declared a national holiday in Bolivia for the first time in 2010.
The Aymara New Year traditionally starts at the sunrise on the day of the solstice and is received by drums and quenas: the ancient sounds of Bolivian music. Each year more than thirty thousand people gather to witness this ritual.
The ceremony takes place in the esplanade of the semi-subterranean temple of Kalasaya, cradle of the oldest pre-Colombian civilization of America, the Tiwanakotas.
With arms extended to the sun, thousands of Bolivians welcome the arrival of the Aymara new year with ancestral rituals. In the mythical Gate to the Sun they wait for dawn to begin with the first rays of the sun the rituals of devotion to their gods.
Dressed in their typical costumes, the Aymara priests lead the religious ceremony, in which they offer gifts to the Sun and Earth, divinities in the aymara religion.
The tours for this celebration can be arranged in advance.
The Willkakuti Ritual or Andean New Year is lead by Mallkus, Apu Malkus and Mamatallas (Andean priests and elders). The celebration is divided in four main stages:
Similar celebrations to that of Tiwanaku take place in the city of Copacabana, province of Manco Kapac and the sector La Cumbre, with the coming of the Yungas (afro descendants) to La Paz.
Also in Pampa Aullagas, department of Oruro, the Fort of Samaipata in Santa Cruz with the "Yasitata Euasu" (star of dawn) and the Inkarakay peak in Cochabamba, where there are still pre-inca ruins.
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