Quyllurit’i (Quechua: “bright white snow“) is a religious festival that is held annually in the Cordillera Vilcanota, in the south Cusco Region of Peru. The indigenous people of the surrounding Andean communities know this anniversary as a native celebration of the stars.
They are festivities of the reappearance of the Pleiades constellation, known in Quechua as Qullqa, or “storehouse,” and is correlated with the imminent harvest and New Year. The Pleiades disappears from view in April and reappears in June.
The turn of the year is marked by the local districts of the Southern Hemisphere on the Winter Solstice in June, and it is also a Catholic festival, which has been celebrated for hundreds if not thousands of years.
This pilgrimage and event takes place in the latter part of May or early June and coincides with the cycle of the full moon. It normally occurs a week before the Christian feast of Corpus Christi. Events typically include processions of holy icons and dances in and around the shrine of the Lord of Quyllurit’i.
Many thousands of people will kneel to greet the first rays of light as the sun rises above the horizon. The main event for the Church is carried out by Ukukus, mythical demigods who climb glaciers over Qullqipunku mountain and return bearing crosses and blocks of ice to place along the road to the shrine. They are known to be therapeutic with healing qualities.
- Partake in one the world famous pilgrimages of the Andes; pay your respects to the Apus of Cusco and celebrate the reappearance of the Pleiades.
4 Days: The pilgrimage is usually over a period of 4 days long; held in a remote area of the Cusco Andes.