In the Peruvian Andes, tens of thousands of pilgrims climb to the Sinakara valley to participate in an annual, multiple day celebration – Qoyllur Rit’i, or the Snow Star Festival. Held under a waning moon, the festivities are surrounded by the looming glaciers of Mount Qullqip’unqu. The Catholic festival celebrates not only Jesus, but also the mountain gods that indigenous South Americans worshipped before the adoption of Christianity.
Photographer Timothy Allen had the rare opportunity to document the annual festival, which was originally featured on BBC here.
GlacierHub posted a previous article about the Snow Star Festival that examines the effects of glacial melt on the festival’s traditions, as well as the origins of the festival. Check it out!