Anonymous asked in TravelLatin AmericaPeru · 1 decade ago

What are some major religious traditions in Peru?

and some rituals.

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In peruvian ancient cultures, as far back as thousand years before the spaniards arrived, a major religious tradition was to make offerings to worship different gods, mainly the Sun (Inti), Earthquake (Pachacamac), Mountain (Apu), the Creator of things (Viracocha), etc, etc.

    These offering would vary depending if it's a big royal ceremony or a personal offering from a farmer. In the first case it would involve the Inka emperor, high ranked priests and the population. The main religious festival was during what you know as the Summer Solstice (winter here in the southern hemisphere), in the 24th of June the sun is at the farest distance from Earth marking the beggining of the new year for the Inkas. The festival is still practiced as of today and it's called the INTI RAYMI. Even thought it's mainly for touristic porpuses, many highlanders gather towards it because of strong ancestral beliefs.

    During the Festival, the higest priest would sacrifice a

    Llama and take out it's heart and vicera to predict the comming year, then a holy bread made of corn (Sanqhu) is eaten with the Llama's blood to end a 3 day Fast. I'm not sure if they really kill the animal today or if it's staged, but even christianism didn't stop the highland people to maintain their own religious beliefs.

    It's normal to see people from the andes mountains praying to christian saints but leaving an offering as Corn, Potato, Coca leafs, or a dead Guinea Pig in a special rock where the Inkas carved & polished some small platforms (around the size of a Handbook) to put your offerings on. These rocks are Shrines and they are found thrughout the Inka territorry starting at the main temple at Cuzco, the KORICANCHA and spreading out in a radious formation along the main inka roads (shrine in quechua is HUACA).

    Human sacrifice was common in cultures before the Inkas (Mochica, Chimu, Chavin). Specially in war victory celebrations. The inkas on the other hand only performed human sacrifice on extreme situations like to calm down the Earthquake god or maybe to end a long drought. Due to the global warming some eternal snow on the mountain tops are melting down and archeologist have found a female child of about 12-14 years old, who was sacrificed and left in the top of Mt. Ambato, she was named "Juanita". Christianity ended all human cacrifice in Peru (1532), but sacrificing a Llama to forsee the future is rarely practiced until today in some places in the high andes.

    The Inkas also mummified their most important dead and the family (PANACA) would keep them in special places to take them out on religious ceremonies, important battles, consulting thru the Oracle or after a great Earthquake. The spaniards persecuted and burned every single Mummy to end this pagan practice, but the highlanders replaced the mummies with religious statues of Christ, Virgin Mary or any important Saint. Today the most common religious tradition in Peru is the "Procession" because it blended well with the Inka tradition of carrying their mummified dead on a litter over their shoulders.

    Fiesta del Señor de los Milagros

    This is by far the greatest religious tradition in Peru. It's common to see many neighborhood processions throughout October and November, mainly because those are the time of the year when big Earthquakes have struck. but only "La Fiesta del Señor de los Milagros" can gather many thousand followers.

    In 1651 a black slave drew the image of Christ on the cross on a frail adobe wall of a church, on the 13th of november 1655 a big earthquake hit the city of Lima destroying many buildings including this church except for the painted wall with the image intact. This image is carried on the shoulders of a group of carriers every october an it has become one of the most important religious ceremony of this part of America and it's practice (in small scale of course) in other countries with important peruvian inmigration (Antofagasta-Chile, Patterson NJ, Milan-Italy).

    Source(s): Maria Rotworoski's book: "History of the TAWANTINSUYO (Inka Empire)"
  • 1 decade ago

    well, there is a very important ritual to offering the God Sun, the name is El Inti Raimi, that celebrates in the 24 of July. This ritual was created by the inkas, to offered the Sun good food, and to grow the agriculture.

  • 1 decade ago

    Most people in Peru are catholic so they celebrate the major christian holidays. They celebrate christmas and easter. Different from north americans, in peru they celebrate the day the three wise men came to Jesus. That's the day that the children get their presents.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Worshiping The Sun, at day time, and the moon at nites !

    Source(s): La Pollada of my mother in law
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  • 1 decade ago

    We believe in Jesus!.


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