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Celebrating The New Year The Inca Way

Inti Raymi, Peru’s Biggest Inca Festival

On June 24th of each year, Inti Raymi, the Inca New Year, is celebrated in Peru. The religious festival, which is held during the winter solstice, honors Inti, the Inca sun deity. Until the ceremony was banned by Spanish Catholic priests in the 1530s, the celebration took place in Cusco’s main plaza. For nine days the Inca would participate in religious rituals, feasting on Peruvian food and drinking a fermented corn-based beverage known as chicha de jora. Pachamama, the goddess of the harvest, would be honored through processions and dance.

Today, theatrical performers assist in reenacting the Inti Raymi rituals in Cusco each year. Colorful attire, music, and Inca-style Peruvian food continue to play a role in these modern-day festivities.

As in most nations, December 31st is celebrated throughout much of Peru. Visiting a Peruvian restaurant is an excellent way to add some South American flair to your year-end festivities. Diners spending New Year’s Eve in the San Francisco Bay Area will want to pay a visit to La Costanera Restaurant to enjoy the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve Prix Fixe, an exclusive multi-course menu designed by nationally-renowned chef Carlos Altamirano. Start off your evening with a small plate of your choice, with options ranging from mango scallop cebiche to marinated pork belly skewers. Choose from mouth-watering entrées such as pan-seared ahi tuna, slow-braised Peruvian pork, or a special cioppino seafood stew. Savor delicious Peruvian flavors in desserts featuring sweet ingredients like dulce de leche and pisco whipped cream.

Visit La Costanera Restaurant on New Year’s Eve or any day to experience a taste of Peru!

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