Pawkar Raymi

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The Andean carnival origin is associated with the fertility of the earth, when plants blossom and in time bond with human fertility.  It is a major festival of the Andean villages and they seem to coincide with the western calendar.  The date varies in February-March concurring with the rainy season of these months, permiting cultivation that fortifies and fertilizes the first fruits.  This occurrance is joyously celebrated in the Andean communitites.

Generally it is held in February each year, lasting approximately 11 days.

These activities are practiced in Peguche, basically in the historical space of sacred places. (watershed, cultural plaza, Peguche waterfall, among others)


Eve of the celebration: One Saturday, the night before the actual celebration, the festival begins in the cultural plaza of Peguche, initiated by an Action of Thanks mass in honor of the patron saint Lucia.  After palms are burned, there are castles and vaca locas and fireworks.  It is a night of community integration, where young people, children and adults spend very agreeable moments in an atmosphere of happiness.

Inauguration: The next day, Sunday, there is great inauguration of a world competion of indigenous football, with a parade or PAKTA RIPASHUNCHIK, that begins at the principal entrance to Peguche, running through the principal street of the community up to the Peguche sports field, with football and basketball teams, godmothers, music groups, dance and the Ñustas candidates.

Artistic activities: presentations of internationally famous artists and also local Otavaleñean artists and of the country, many mestizos and black indigenous.

Ñustas Pawkar Raymi: The election of the Ñustas is a cultural activity of transcendental importance, at this time an indigenous woman on a blossoming stage enters into communion with Pachamama and recieves strength from the energies emanating from the mother.

Runa Kay: The expression of dedicated volunteerism reafirms, “I AM, WE ARE, ÑUKA PACHAMIKANI, ÑUKANCHIKMIKANCHI”. It is a ceremony of cultural afirmation with young people.

Tumarina - RITUAL CEREMONY OF WATER AND FLOWERS: Tumarina is the most important ceremony of Pawkar Raymi, the essence of Pawkar. Tumarina is a way to enter into communion between humans and Pachamama. In the moment of the birth of our fathers we learn the first cleansing is with water and wild flowers, next, at the time of matrimony, ñawi mayllay forms a symbolic flowering of life. And finally at the moment of death there is a final cleansing with rosemary water mixed with flowers. All these moments of life are moments when we enter into communion in the vital flow of nature.

The women of the community gather together in the early morning to gather wild flowers and the chakra tuktus, in the same manner they bring water from the sacred watersheds.. This mix of water and flower petals lay on the patio of the house of each family, an invitation to a mutual ceremonial game. The rite continues with the collection of flowers with water placed as a crown for the head of the person's intimate representatives. As you do this you must pronounce good wish phrases, something like: “I wish you a blossoming life like these flowers”, “Kayguhuanllapash”, demonstrating your prescence with humility.

Wara Chimbachik – Naming of the New Steward: The rod is a symbol of power and government. In this case the rod is a symbol of power that the Community of Peguche gives each member that organizes the celebration for the period of Blossoming-Pawkar Raymi the next year.