When the glaciers melt: It was tradition in the Peruvian Andes. At night, pilgrims would use the reflection from the moon that cascaded atop snow-capped peaks as a guide to make their way up the sacred Colque Punku glacier. These days, however, the “snow star” has no snow to reflect, Amanda Magnani and Nat Geo Explorer Armando Vega report for Nat Geo. But the four-day religious festival goes on. Above, dancers carry a cross at dawn as part of the festivities. Below, pilgrims sit during the observances. Longtime participant Richart Aybar Quispe Soto says believers asked what happened to the snow. “'Sin, it was sin,' they would say, and it wasn’t sin, it was global warming.”
This story was supported by a National Geographic Society storytelling grant.