Celebrate the Winter Solstice of the Andes

June 16, 2014
News Release

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Nasca mask

Inti Raymi or the “Festival of the Sun,” is a celebration of the winter solstice throughout many Andean cultures and will be celebrated at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian Saturday, June 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shortest day of the year in the Andes, this event welcomes the sun, longer days, plantings and harvests to follow. The countries of Bolivia and Peru are united in this festival, yet each community has its own unique way of celebrating. 

Museum visitors can enjoy cultural performances by Raices y ExpresionesHijos de Colca and Tradiciones Bolivianas, set to the music of Etnia, as they share their music and dances in honor of one of the oldest celebrations in the Andes.

Visitors can make their own Andean pendant, learn more about the small stringed instrument, the charango, or join a museum highlights tour focusing on Bolivian culture led by Bolivian cultural interpreter, Jose Montaño. The program “Art, Culture and Science of the Seasons” will explain why the winter solstice is important, and visitors can then make a sun-inspired mask. This activity is co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Latino Center and the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center.

Inti Raymi in New York         

The museum in New York will also host a similar program of music and dance Saturday, June 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Diker Pavilion.

This festival has received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

For more information, visit www.AmericanIndian.si.edu.

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SI-312-2014