Ancient Incan Festival Inti Raymi Celebrated at UVU

The UVU Office for Global Engagement, in conjunction with the City of Cusco, Peru, celebrated the ancient Incan New Year celebration Inti Raymi on April 28 in the Grand Ballroom.


The Inti Raymi (Quechua for “Inti festival”) is an ancient religious ceremony celebrated by the Inca Empire thousands of years ago in honor of Inti (Quechua for “sun”), the Incan sun deity. To this day, this sacred festival is celebrated in Peru and is lauded as one of its most significant holy days. Inti Raymi is the celebration of the winter solstice and the Inca New Year, and features music, colorful clothing, the aya huma mask, and food. And for the first time in the festival’s history, this sacred celebration was held outside of Peru.

The Utah Valley University Office for Global Engagement, in conjunction with the City of Cusco, Peru, celebrated the ancient Incan New Year celebration, Inti Raymi on April 28 in the UVU Grand Ballroom. The public event was livestreamed to Peru and to all Peruvian Embassies throughout the world, and featured actors, dancers, as well as Víctor G. Boluarte Medina, the mayor of Cusco, Peru.

Dr. Baldomero Lago, Chief Officer of UVU International Academic Administration and the event’s emcee, said the process of getting this event to be performed at UVU has been in the works since January 2022, and that Utah was chosen by the Cusco City Council and embassies in Washington D.C. because of the Beehive State’s connections with Peru.

“Everything that we do, from our perspective, from the Office for Global Engagement, is to allow our students to have this ability to connect with cultures from around the world,” Lago said. “It is such such a great honor to be able to host this event here at UVU. We are taking some of the lead to break the ice and make things happen historically, because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this festival outside Peru.”

According to Lago, the festival perfectly represents UVU’s core value to include. “Visitors’ minds will be enhanced, more open to receive cultural awareness, and be better, more globally competent citizens,” he said. “It is vital for UVU to play that role. We are a very inclusive institution and bringing other peoples and other cultures into our campus. We need to be not only just citizens of the US, but also citizens of the world.”

Israel Arellano, an attendee of the event with Peruvian-Venezuelan heritage, enjoyed the festival and dancing numbers.

“It was so unique,” Arellano said. “It feels great to connect with my roots.”

Watch footage of the evening’s events below.

For news on upcoming Office for Global Engagement events, visit