Pachamama is the Quechuan and Aymaran name for Mother Earth. It literally means world mother, but also refers to her spirit. The Virgin Mary is her closest equivalent in European culture.
We respect Pachamama all year long, but especially on August 1st across the former Inca Empire in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and parts of Chile and northern Argentina.
In the southern Andes, August is the coldest month, and it is hard to stay healthy during this time. That is one of the reasons we honor Pachamama. Also, the planting season begins soon, and Pachamama rituals prepare the community for the important planting work ahead.
Like many other cultures, we perform cleaning rituals. Our families cook all night on July 31st. Then we go to a water place and make an offering to Pachamama before enjoying a family feast. We also toast Pachamama with Chicha, the Andean corn beer.
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