The Andean Sun rises from the Amazon jungle, where it has remained with Yakumama (Goddess of water). This happens after the winter solstice, on June 21.
The sun of the new year emerges from the mists of the horizon, joyous and festive. In this event, on mid-July, the Incas waited in the sun from midnight at the most impressive lookout in the Andes, at 4,000 meters above sea level, which is in an arm of the mountain range that penetrates the Amazon jungle where you can watch the sun rise, as if emerging from a large white bed where it was sheltered by Yakumama.
During the colonization of America, the Spanish visited the sacred place and put three wooden crosses on it, and from then on the place bears the name: Tres Cruces Lookout in Paucartambo. Where every July 15, until the mid-1900s, a mass was celebrated there in order to destroy Andean culture.
Over time, every July 15 until today, the ancient ceremony are held to worship one of the most beautiful sunrises in the world: The “Haywasqa” ceremony (payment to earth), which is a way of paying tribute to nature and the strong bonds between it and people. The Pako (Andean priest) is in charge of adoring the Sun, the most important deity, and Mother Earth (Pachamama), the deity of fertility.
This beautiful show begins, when the sun rises from the Mirador Tres Cruces in Paucartambo, then a phenomenon called “white ray” caused by the rising of the sun on the horizon occurs. The light passes through the humid sky, distorting the image and giving the effect of three suns as if each of them was jumping from side to side. This mystical show takes place at dawn around 4:30 a.m. during winter, particularly in the month of July.
Only three places have the privilige to see this marvel. One of them is Peru.
By Numitor Hidalgo © Museo Maximo Laura curator
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