Argentinians ask for Pope Francis' support for Tinkunaco feast to be UNESCO heritage
With this song in Quechuan to the beat of this drum, and dressed in traditional indigenous attire, they come to Rome from La Rioja in Argentina.
They are Aillis and are preparing to celebrate their grand feast day, Tinkunaco, on December 31.
It's a holiday of colonial origin, with historical and cultural features, which has also become a Christian faith manifestation for the Ailli because it symbolizes God's encounter with His people.
They have come to Rome to receive Pope Francis' blessing, but also to make a special request – his support for the feast to become one of intangible cultural heritage for humanity.
"[The pope] knows about this feast, about what we do. He has welcomed us; He recalled his time in Argentina and promised us that much-wanted commitment to be able to apply to UNESCO.”
The Aillis say they show their love for God and pay homage to Him through this feast. The image of baby Jesus dressed as mayor resolved strong tensions with Spanish colonists because both parties accepted that the true authority is God.
“He governs the Earth, God in Christ, and the Spaniard, the man. In that conjunction of the baby Jesus mayor, we have received by inheritance the obedience to our Government and the Catholic Church.”
These spheres also have religious value because they represent the seven Christian sacraments. They make up the arch of triumph that always accompanies the “inga,” the leader of confraternity.
With that, with all of their colorful adornments and joy after being greeted by Pope Francis, they return to La Rioja, Argentina, enthusiastic about celebrating their much-desired Tinkunaco once again.