The sun god was important to Inca religion. As the sun set earlier each day in the winter, at Machu Picchu priests performed a ceremony to tie down the sun and keep it from disappearing completely. The Incas believed their kings were related to the sun god. As a result, the Incas thought their kings never really died.
This Peruvian region was very large and was inhabited by numerous Indian nations, so there were many different types of religion and idolatries, not only before the people were conquered and brought under one government, but afterward also. Although it is true that the Peruvian kings required all conquered persons to receive their Inca religion, they were not required to abandon entirely the religion that they had before. This was because the Incas only made the newly conquered subjects give up that part of their religion which seemed to contradict Inca religion. Therefore, not only did the conquered keep their former gods, but the Incas themselves accepted these gods and had them brought to Cuzco, where they were placed among the Incas' own gods. The Incas worshiped these new gods somewhat, but much less than they worshiped their native gods. It is remarkable how little the Incas cared for these new gods. When some province rebelled against them, the Incas ordered the protective native gods of the rebellious province to be brought out and put in public, where they were whipped ignominiously every day until such province was made to serve the Incas again. After the rebels were subdued, their gods were restored to their places and honored with sacrifices. At this time the Incas would say that the province had been subdued through the power of the rebels' gods, who wanted to avoid being insulted. And it is even said that the majority of the rebels surrendered just because they heard that their idols were exposed to public insults.
The Inca empire is considered one of the most advanced and complex pre-Columbian civilizations of South America. Based in the Peruvian Andes and created by the Quechua-speaking people in the 15th century, it had a population of between 5 and 11 million people when the Spanish conquered it in the 16th century. The Catholic conquistadors banned the Inca religion and brought about its demise.
Inca religious ceremonies followed the Inca calendar. The seasons of the year were very important to the Inca, because they lived off the land. Their calendar was divided into twelve lunar months, named for important agricultural and religious events. Since the seasons south of the equator are reversed, the January of the Inca calendar was the equivalent of June on North America. The calendar year began with December, which is like May in the north. Every month they had one more festivals. Inca festivals were colorful.
Pachacuti drastically reorganized the Inca religion. He claimed to be the direct descendant of the Inca Sun God Inti, which made his people extremely obedient. Their daily work tasks almost became a religious duty. Pachacuti created a cult around himself and the sun-god Inti. Every day the emperor would wear new clothes, the old ones from the previous day had to be burned, and he would only eat from golden plates. Inca society was a theocratic society, meaning that politics and religion were completely intertwined. The Inca religion combined features of animism, fetishism, and the worship of nature gods representing forces of nature. Inca rituals included elaborate forms of divination and the sacrifice of humans and animals.