The indigenous Aymara people scattered over Andean villages summon a deity and perform their ancient purification and rejuvenation rituals. The leading figure is Aya Uma, the spirit of the mountains, distinguished by a double-faced mask representing day and night, and also twelve horns symbolizing the corresponding number of months in a year. Aya Uma stamps its feet along to wake up Mother Nature along with other dancers who form circles to represent two solstices and also two equinoxes. Musicians in the middle of these dancing circles play invigorating music that symbolizes the life-giving power of the sun, and fruits are brought as a token of gratitude for the former harvest and an offering to ensure a good harvest in the year to come. The ceremonies take place on June 21st during the Winter Equinox in Aymara villages—mainly around Tiwanaku. The event is also known as the Festival of the Sun or Aymara New Year.
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