Qoyllur R’iti is an annual pilgrimage and one of the most traditional of the Andean spiritual festivals. The festival exemplifies the intertwining of both Christian and pre-Columbian pagan beliefs, which for modern Peruvians, these notions go hand in hand. Also known as the Star Snow Festival, there is much to know about the origins of this event.
This amazing event occurs during the full moon the weekend before Corpus Christi which is on June 3rd in 2021 and on June 16th in 2022. The full moon occurs on May 26th in 2021 and June 14th in 2022, so planning a trip for this should begin within enough time to acclimate and prepare for your amazing adventure.
Qoyllur R’iti takes place over three to four days with several thousands of people walking an almost 20 mile journey to the Santuario del Señor de Qoyllorit’i. Taking part in this event is without doubt one of the more authentic experiences you could have in Peru, just be aware you will also have to go by foot.
The festival exemplifies the intertwining of both Christian and pre-Columbian pagan beliefs, which for modern Peruvians, these go hand in hand. Also known as the Star Snow Festival, there is much to know about the origins of this event and there are several great
According to a Catholic legend, Señor de Quyllurit’i is the image of Christ, and who appeared at the place where the death of two young boys took place.
Want to plan a trip for Qoyllur R’iti? Planning early is essential and for this festival, the best way to go is with a licensed guide or tour company that specializes in the trek and camping set-up. Get in touch and let’s get your adventure started!
There is a procession which is divided into eight groups, depending on origin, which are guided by dressed in alpaca fibre “pablitos” and “pabluchas”. Special dance and music groups also accompany the event and participants wear traditional costumes.
Christians will carry crosses and statues of the Lord and Virgin blocks of ice from the top,because it’s believed to have healing powers. Pilgrims with pagan beliefs wait till the first light of the morning sun appears over the Andes when they will kneel down to greet the new beginning.
This ceremony also includes trekking up the mountain and a few nights of camping. It is one of the most authentic and exciting events to experience in the Cusco region.