June 24 is a special day for many Peruvians across the country. On this day, thousands of locals and visitors celebrate Inti Raymi, which marks the beginning of the winter solstice and is a celebration of the Sun God, Inti in Quechua.
In the Amazon region, locals celebrate June 24 with the feast of San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist), a tradition that was instilled with the arrival of Spanish missionaries. You will find festivals across the region where juane, a typical dish of the region, is served.
This date also marks the national Día del Campesino, or Day of the Farmer. The holiday was first instituted by President Augusto B. Leguía in 1930, and was named the Día del Indio, or Day of the Indian: a tribute to the indigenous peoples and farmers of Peru.
General Juan Velasco Alvarado, president during the dictatorship from 1968 to 1975, renamed the holiday to Día del Campesino in 1969. He also established the Agrarian Reform Law, which expropriated 15,000 farmlands in an aim to diversify the country’s land ownership and put an end to the exploitation of forced Indigenous labor. The reform benefited around 300,000 families.
In 2015, the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI) reported there are 2, 244,679 small and medium sized agricultural producers in Peru.
On this day, the regions of the jungle, Cusco and the rest of the country unite in celebration of the millions of farmers in Peru who contribute to its growth.
Cover photo: Bioversity International/Flickr
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