Andean New Year

(Pago a la tierra) - 1st August

In the Andes, 1st August represents the Andean New Year. During the month of August, many Peruvian families make "pagos" or payments to Pachamama, or Mother Earth. These pagos are done in the family home and a Shaman, Paco or Brujo (witch) is invited to assist with the ceremony. The Pagos are normally done by the parents and adult members of the family. For the pago, coca leaves, sweets, incense, dried fetuses of animals, cigarettes and wine are collected. During the pago, the Paco will drink wine, then give an offering to Pachamama, he will also, smoke, and often a cigarette will be left burning for the Apus or Gods. Sometimes, after the ceremony, all the items are burnt and then offered to the Pachamama, being buried either in the house or outside. During August, Shamans do not do Ceremonies of San Pedro or Ayahuasca, but only do pagos. Therefore, if you are offered a ceremony of either of these sacred plants, probably the person is not a real Shaman.

Pagos can be done year round, and are often done during our treks upon reaching important spiritual sites.

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