Mani Rimdu Festival in Everest Region, Dates and Celebration for 2024

Mani rimdu festival

Nepal, being a secular country, holds many festivals and celebrations. Each religion has its own culture and tradition. Apart from that, a festival in Nepal also depends on the particular place where people live. Mani Rimdu is another such festival celebrated by the Everest region. It is a kind of carnival observed in honor of Buddhist Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava. Mani Rimdu festival is an important festival which was started in 1900.

Nagawang Tenzing Norbu took the initiative to start this tradition at Rongpunk Monastery in Tibet. After this, this tradition was slowly followed in central China and the Everest region in Nepal. However, this is one of the leading festivals in the Solu Khumbu district. Gurung and Sherpa people are mostly fond of this tradition.

On the occasion of Mani Rimdu, people organize different events at Chiwong, Thami, and mainly in Tengboche Monastery. Mani Rimdu is celebrated for ten days, each day having its importance and rituals.

Mani Rimbdu festival at Tengboche monastery

As the Mani Rimdu festival is only observed in the Everest region of Nepal, the festival is also called the trekking festival. Most people travel to the Everest region to enjoy Mani Rimdu. Tengboche monastery is the center for the celebration of Mani Rimdu.

Tengboche monastery is said to be the oldest Monastery in the world, as it was built in 300 BC. Every year, a massive crowd of people gathers around the Tengboche monastery. They observe the Mani Rimdu festival with great excitement. People gather in a particular place (mostly a monastery) to dance, feast, and pray to their god.

In the Tengboche monastery, people enjoy the dance shows of different gods. Sherpa and Lama local people perform their traditional rituals in the Monastery. Mani Rimdu festival in the Everest region perfectly combines the Himalayas and Nepali traditions. You will feel the delight of observing the colorful festival in the middle of the mountain range. During this festival, you can follow the unique rituals of Buddhist people. Sherpa dance is also an essential component of the Rimdu
festival.


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    How is this festival celebrated?

    Mani Rimdu festival is the most exciting festival as it is observed in the high Himalayas Buddhist monastery. Every year, the Mani Rimdu festival falls in November. However, the dates are not fixed. The significance of the Mani Rimdu festival is the fantastic win of Buddhism over the old Bon religion.

    People seek and give blessings to each other during these festivals. Most Buddhists in the Everest region celebrate this festival by meditating throughout the nine days. They wear the mask of the Buddhist goddess and dance in the Monastery.

    Monks in the Monastery perform the traditional rituals of these festivals and read Buddhist scripts. People decorate their
    houses and the route with the Buddhist flag. They worship the god by singing the classic song and offering the god fruits, water, and flowers.

    Mani rimdu festival

    How can I start the Mani Rimdu festival trek?

    For the Mani Rimdu festival, you must start this trek from the delightful flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. You can enjoy the incredible views of the mountains during this flight. It would help if you started trekking towards Namche Bazar from Lukla airport at an elevation of 3440 meters.

    There you will stop to have lunch. Then, you will have to continue your trek toward
    Tengboche to enjoy Mani Rimdu festivals. On the Mani Rimdu festive trek, you must spend your nights in Tengboche. During this trek, you will get a charming glance at Mount Everest, surrounded by several other mountains.

    In addition, on this Mani Rimbdu festival trek, you will also get to explore Kalapatthar, which is famous for the best view of Mount Everest. Your final destination for this hike will be the Everest base camp trek. Suppose you plan to stay in the Everest region in the Everest region for nineteen days of this festival. In that case, you can observe the tradition of Mani Rimdu in Chiwong Monastery and Thame. During the Mani Rimdu Festival, you can also watch the traditional lama dance, with the dramatic triumph of Buddhism over the Bon.

    When is Mani Rimdu?

    The monks and the lama of the Monastery fix the date of the Mani Rimdu festival. The date is set by interpreting the Tibetan calendar. Mani Rimdu usually falls in October, and November is the year Mani Rimdu falls in October.

    This festival starts from the 20th to the 23rd of October. This festival is a nineteen-day celebration, the first three days being the
    primary day for public celebration. Mani Rimdu is very famous throughout Nepal. People from different parts of the country come to enjoy this festival. people mostly pray for the well-being of family

    People perform another ritual in the Mani Rimdu festival to quell the demons and keep their friends and family safe. Monks
    in the Monastery wear masks and dance. The most crucial day of Mani Rimdu is the first day when people pray and chant songs to god. On the second day, the lama dance and other rituals will start.

    Finally, on the last day, the festival ended with prayers and feasts. Thousands of people, including locals and tourists, come to attend the rituals. Mani Rimdu’s festive trek is a real opportunity to get lost in the tradition and culture of Sherpas.

    During the Mani Rimbdu Festival, Trekking at Tengboche Monastery

    Mani Rimdu is divided into six Preparations:

     Construction of the Sand Mandala

    The sand mandala is very important for any Buddhist ritual. The traditional sand Mandala for the Mani Rimdu is made step by step. Specially colored sand is used to make the symbolic design. It takes more than ten days to complete the sand mandala.

    Then, after the mandala’s construction, defensive blades are used to make different designs and symbols of the god. After that, spiritual medicine is taken and put in the mandala’s center. Buddhists make The mandala to symbolize the lord of the dance, Garwang The Chenpo.

    The famous Buddhist prayer, “Om Mane Panmbe Hung,” is chanted by the monks during the rituals of the Mani Rimdu. People also tend to meditate and imagine the kind of lord Buddha as the mantra holding the mandala. People believe this ritual will help release kindness from the mandala and bless everyone at the Mani Rimdu festival.

    Wong (The Empowerment)

    Another important thing during the Mani Rimdu festival is the Wong. The Wong is the opening ceremony at the Tengboche monastery on the first day of this festival. Usually, Wong is performed in the tenth month of the Tibetan calendar. In this ceremony, everyone at the Monastery is given the spiritual medicine T showreel, which is for long life, and the sacred Mani Rimdu
    which is for blessing everyone.

    Mani rimdu festival trek

    Chham (The Dances)

    The public ceremony is the first three days of the Mani Rimdu festival. On the second day, traditional dances are performed. Monks wear the mask of the demons and protractors and then complete the drama of chasing demons by the protractors.

    The theme of Mani Rimdu is the victory of the buoyant force over the negativity. The dances are a form of teaching people about the philosophical
    knowledge of lord buddha. It is also believed that the dance of the monk takes the form of the divine being. These dances are done only on Mani Rimdu, which is why the dance form is very sacred.

    Ser-Kyem

    Ser-Kyem is a unique tradition of offering drinks to the dharma guru during the Mani Rimdu festival. Ser Kyem is the Tibetan word in which ser means golden and Kyem means beverage. Lamas and monks perform this tradition to resolve the problems in their lives. Ser-Kyem is offered in a unique kind of utensils. The down part is made up of a giant disk-shaped bowl. The smaller glass is placed at the
    top of the large disk. So, while ser-key, the beverage is poured into the upper glass, the liquid overflows towards the down bowl.

    Usually, people offer alcohol from different vessels. They make the offering to the Yiadam, who works at the Monastery as the personal deity, Khandro, the wisdom Dakini, and Lamas, the spiritual guide. Offering ser-Keym to these beings will help to protect people and solve their problems. This tradition increases the feeling of brotherhood among people from the Mani Rimbdu festival.


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      The Fire Puja (Jinsak)

      The fire puja is another interesting ritual performed during the Mani Rimdu festival. This tradition takes place in the yard after the second day or the dance day. Fire puja is a tradition of offering to the god of fire called “Agni Dveta” in Nepali. This tradition is performed to dissolve the negative energy into the fire and make the world a positive place. In this puja, they offer sand mandala in the Monastery.

      China

      Chhingpa is the dance that portrays the Buddhist faith against the attack of demons. This Dane form defines the four protecting Things. People wear different paper masks to hide their faces; each dancer wears different colors and displays another character. The dancer performs the traditional dance by using the cymbals. The exciting part of this dance is the dancers offer
      charge to the audience, especially children, to scare them for fun.

      Dakini is another form of dance performed at the Mani Rimbdu festival. This form of dance consists of slow motion with the perfect timing of the beats. Bells and drums are only used as musical instruments, which the younger monks play. People do not wear masks but portray female spiritual energy called Padmasambhava.

      The ancient story states that the males represent skill while the females represent wisdom and knowledge. Among the four messengers of the guru Rinpoche at Mani Rimdu, two of them were males thousand who carried cymbals, while the two were females who brought drums. Chhingpa represents enlightenment and wisdom.

      Mani Rimbdu Festival Trek in the Everest region

      The most important highlights of this festival are the fantastic environment and the fresh air. The magnificent serenity of the Tengboche monastery is worth watching, along with the culture and tradition of the Mani Rimdu festival trek.

      You will get a breathtaking view of the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest, and many other renowned peaks like Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, Thamserku, Katanga, etc. The route to Tengboche monastery goes through the tall rhododendron and oak forest.

      During the Mani Rimdu festival trek, you will see many other rare animals like yellow-bile cough and snow leopards. The entire route to Tengboche monastery is decorated with Buddhist flags.

      The rocks and houses are also carved with art pieces. Local people cook multiple food items and hold feasts to invite their friends and family. Tengboche monastery was built by the lama guru in 1916. The Rinpoche monastery inspired the design of the Tengboche monastery in Tibet.

      Although strong tiles were used in the construction of this Monastery, it was damaged later by the earthquake in 1934, but the locals reconstructed it. Mani Rimdu is very special and holds many beliefs for the Sherpa people. People from foreign countries especially enjoy this festival.

      What are the Highlights of this Festival trek?

      •  Mani Rimdu festival is the most auspicious festival, celebrated in honor of Buddha Guru Rinpoche.
      •  This is the most sacred festival, colorful dances, masks, and a grand carnival. Buddhist monks sing songs and read the holy book.
      •  Everyone in the Everest region wears a cultural dress, holds a feast, and invites each other to enjoy.
      •  The monks in the Tengboche monastery perform the traditional rites and rituals.
      •  People perform the Dakini to chase off the demons and negative energy.
      •  Weather during this festive season is moderate, thus providing clear views of the sky and the mountains.
      • Enjoying this colorful festival
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