In short

Willkakuti (Aymara for the Return of the Sun), Machaq Mara (Aymara for the New Year), Mara T'aqa, Jach'a Laymi or Pacha Kuti (Andean-Amazonian New Year) is an Aymara celebration in Bolivia, Chile and southern Peru which takes place every year on June 21, commemorating the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere.


Willkakuti, the Aymara New Year

The Aymara New Year traditionally begins at sunrise on the solstice and is received with drums and quenas: the ancient sounds of Bolivian music. Every year, more than thirty thousand people gather to witness this ritual.

The ceremony takes place on the esplanade of the semi-subterranean temple of Kalasaya, cradle of the oldest pre-Columbian civilization in America, the Tiwanakotas.

With arms outstretched towards the sun, thousands of Bolivians welcome the arrival of the Aymara New Year with ancestral rituals. In the mythical Gate of 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, during which they offer gifts to the Sun and the Earth, deities of the Aymara religion.

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Today, the Aymara people celebrate Willkakuti. The June solstice being the shortest day in the southern hemisphere, this marks the beginning of the new year of the Aymaras. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #21June #aymara #willkakuti