11:02 | Cusco (Cusco region), Jun. 24.
The famous Inti Raymi or Sun Festival —Peru's ancient Inca celebrations— kicked off Sunday, drawing crowds of tourists from all over the world.
According to the schedule released by Municipal Company of Festivities in Cusco (Emufec
), official activities began at 8:15 AM with the raising of the national and Cusco flags.
The initiation ceremony took place at Cusco's Main Square to the rhythm of pututos (conch shell used as trumpets in Andean religious music).
At 8:30 AM, a traditional mass and Te Deum was celebrated at the city's Cathedral.
The activity that marked the beginning of the most important celebration in the Inca calendar (the Inti Raymi
) was the sun salutation in the Qorikancha Temple.
Cusco's Main Square is set to host the "Meeting of the Times and Coca Ceremony" in the mid-morning.
A total of 3,766 seats are available at Sacsayhuaman, of which 3,266 will be reserved for domestic and foreign tourists
, while the remaining 500 will be available for locals.