Aymara New Year Eve
The Aymaras, Bolivia’s largest ethnic group, celebrate every year the beginning of a new year in Tiwanaku, during the southern hemisphere winter’s solstice.
Indigenous cultures identified the equinoxes and the solstice with the trajectory of the sun. According to these observations, annual calendars trace to lead a harmonious coexistence with nature. The winter solstice is seen as a rebirth, it is the period of the year when nature renews itself; therefore, Aymaras worship their sun god and its movements establishing sowing and harvest times.
This spiritual ceremony, which in 2013 will be year 5521 in the Aymara calendar, is at sunrise when the first rays of sunlight come through the legendary Sun Gate in Tiwanaku.