Customs

The Time of Bright and Dangerous Lights

Stunning Rain Appears Avobe Cuzco Mountains (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

In the time of storms, rains, and cold, nature shows us surprising things. From the beginning of the month of August, the City of Cuzco’s climate begins to change. Strong and Constant winds appear. By October, the magical raindrops appear in the sky. Thanks to them, food grows for the people.

In a combination of rain and sun, the rainbow begins to show itself. Everyone sees it with its beautiful bars of colors. Rainbows are incredible. They are even more so if you see them from the hillsides above the city. You are astounded by the phenomenon of nature that shines over the Imperial City.

When we have strong rains with storming winds, potent flashes of light appear. With smashing sound the fall on the city.

Some years ago, before we had today’s technology, every time heavy rains cut loose, the first thing people would do was to hide all their tools that carried metal, their pick axes, shovels, wheelbarrows, and rakes, among others. They relied on these for sewing seeds and harvesting their crops.

Raind Clouds Darken Cuzco (Photo: Walter Coraza morveli)
Raind Clouds Darken Cuzco (Photo: Walter Coraza morveli)

People also say that whenever lightning would strike someone, whether a man or a woman, it had consequences. It could kill them on impact, or it could give them wisdom.

They say that if lightning were to strike a pregnant woman the child could either be born with health problems, or once born it could grow to be a wise person.

The lightning god was very important in Andean ideology. We had temples that were dedicated to him, one of which was found in the San Blas neighborhood. There they paid cult to him every illa p’unchay, Thursday. The name means the day of lightning or light.

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