Yesterday, the first of August, the Day of the Pachamama was celebrated in the city of Cuzco. This day has been set in the calendar since 2012 when it was declared that every first of August would be a day to recognize and honor the Pachamama.
The place where the ceremony is carried out is to the side of Saqsayhuaman near the White Christ. From ten in the morning those in charge began the ceremony by beginning to put together the dish they would offer to the Mother Earth. They dug a circular hole. Once everything was ready they put a variety of flowers all around it. Then they put a lot of coca leaves into the hole.
The formal ceremony began at noon, although an hour earlier various people came with their offerings. They left them on top of some llicllas, hand woven carrying cloths, for the Pachamama. These included bread, dishes of food, fruit, wines, soft drinks, and other edibles.
The ceremony began with a small mass offered by Andean persons. They spoke about the value of our earth. Then began the prayers. The organizers gave out a lot of coca to everyone who was there so they could put together a k’intu, o bundle of three leaves to make an offering as part of a petition they would make to the Apus, the mountains, and the Earth.
At that time a large group of people arrived wanting to add their offerings, but the organizers felt it was too late. A bit of struggle broke out as they argued to be let make their offering.
People brought their k’intus to the papachos, the Andean priests who added them to the offering to be burnt. The entire pacakge went up in flames and smoke, while the offerings of food and beverage were buried in the ground. In this way Cuzco recognized and honored the Earth by building and maintaining reciprocity, Ayni, with it.