The pilgrimage to Qoyllurit’i is one of the most important in Peru. Every year it has a large number of pilgrims. In it, you can see different traditions thanks to a religious/Andean syncretism.
The tradition of pilgrimage consists of making the journey for 3 years by either belonging to a comparsa, a dance troupe or just as a pilgrim. It is said that to go to the sanctuary of Qoyllurit’i any devotee or group such as nations, you must accept the invitation. Otherwise you spend something on the route.
It is said that the route can be very long and difficult for those people who carry their sins and who have not confessed before starting this journey. This is one of the beliefs affirmed by many pilgrims and who comment that the journey was made as if they were carrying a big rock.
The pilgrimage to Qoyllurit’i unites and break apart couples on the journey. It strengthens love where there is love, that is, when a couple truly loves. They will marry and live happily after the journey. Otherwise, these souls will be separated.
After visiting the sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i, many of the nations and pilgrims go up to the snow to make offerings and to perform the baptisms of initiation for the new members of the pilgrim nations.
Previously, the Pablitos carried large blocks of ice on their backs from the snow of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i and you could see their return burdened under ice in a parade of this nation around the main square of Cusco.
It is said that every year someone dies on the pilgrimage to the Lord of Qoyllurit’i, either because of the nature or the weather or because, the nations say, he had committed sin and was punished .
There once was the custom of the Rit’i Canchay (corn toasted with snow). It consisted of eating toasted corn together with the snow that is on the mountain of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i.
The pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurit’i is one of the fiestas where alcoholic beverages are not consumed. That is the responsibility of nations. These groups are in charge of order on the route to the sanctuary.
Mining is prohibited throughout the territory of the pilgrimage to the Lord of Qoyllurit’i. It was designated as a protected, intangible area by our authorities.
The pilgrimage to the Lord of Qoyllurit’i continues to teach and is one of the traditions that prevails from generation to generation. It will last for future generations.