Aymuray (Song of the Harvest)

May 3
The South American Indians known as the Incas had an empire that flourished during the 15th and early 16th centuries and extended along the Pacific coast and Andean highlands from the northern border of what is now Ecuador to central Chile. They celebrated a harvest festival in May, which month they called Aymuray, which means "the song of the harvest."
Today, many Quechua Indians, who are descended from the Incas, still live in this region—most of them in Peru, and many continue to celebrate this ancient festival. They choose a tree to be the focus of the action and hang fruit and other objects on its boughs. Then they perform a traditional dance called the Ayriwa, "dance of the young corn," around the tree. Singing of the harvest song, the Aymuray, follows, and people shake the tree loose of its gifts and share them amongst each other.
Elsewhere in Peru, Aymuray has been largely combined with the Christian Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. There are bonfires and music everywhere, as well as altars with crosses, which people take in processions to church.
CelebNature-1969, p. 126
DictFolkMyth-1984, p. 99
FiestaTime-1965, p. 88
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.