About Mani Rimdu Festival Trek
The Mani Rimdu Festival is a 19 days long festival celebrated in the Khumbu region. Among those 19 days, three days are open for public celebration. Mani Rimdu is the biggest and most significant festival for the locals. The main three days of the festival are celebrated at the oldest monastery of the region, the Tengboche monastery.
The Mani Rimdu festival is celebrated performing an ancient mask dance. The monks exhibit the dance that portrays the victory of Buddhism over the primal Bor religion. The dance also depicts surmounting the demons by Guru Rinpoche. Hundreds of Sherpas from all around the region gather at the monastery to attend the celebration and pay their respect. The festival occurs every year during the annual full moon.
Mani Ramdu is divided into six Preparations
Construction of the Sand Mandala
Sand Mandala is built using colorful sand, which represents Garwang Thoze Chenpo (Lord of dance). The mandala shows complicated and symbolic design. It takes many days to complete the Sand Mandala. After the construction of the mandala, it gets decorated with different elements all of which are ritual values. A defensive blade is placed around the mandala that symbolizes deities and a bowl of Mani Rilwu (spiritual medicine) is placed in the center of the mandala.
The monks repeat mantra called "OM AH HUNG RHI, OM MANI PADME HUNG” thousands of times perceiving kindness flowing in the form of mantra into the mandala and the medicines. Later, this kindness is released out from the mandala blessing all the attendees of the festival.
Wong (The Empowerment)
Wong is the first day of the public ceremony. This happens on the full moon day, usually on the tenth month in the Tibetan lunar calendar. During the Wong, the sacred Mani Rilwu (spiritual pills) and Tshereel (pills for long life) are distributed to everyone attending the festival.
Chham (The Dances)
Chham Dance happens on the 2nd day of the Mani Rimdu festival. The dance symbolizes conquering over demons, chasing them away, and getting transformed into protectors of Dharma. Similarly, the dance conveys different levels of Buddhist teaching from the simplest to the most philosophical. The local's beliefs that the performers, the monks become diving during the dance.
Ser-Kyem is used to offer alcohol from silver vessels and small tormas to the Lama, Yidam, Khandro, and Shi-Dak (the Earth deities). As per Tibetan Buddhist practice, this offering helps these Earth deities with the virtuous actions which lead to Buddhahood. Likewise, Ser-Kyem is also used to offer spiritual nectar made in many ceremonies.
The Fire Puja (Jinsak)
The Fire Puja or Jinsak is performed in the yard the day after the dances. This puja is an offering to the fire god and to the gods of the Sand Mandala to relieve all harm in the world. The harm is visualized as dissolving into the grain and butter is burned. After this, the Sand Mandala in the temple is cut into pieces, and the sand is given as an offering to the serpent gods (Nagas).
Chhingpa is another dance that portrays the Four Protecting Ghings, defending the Buddhist faith against attack by demons. The performers were shining paper masks to hide their faces and each illustrating a constant smile. The dancers´ hops are rhythmically accompanied by the beating of cymbals. To make the celebration fun, the dancers scare the children in the audience.
Likewise, the Dakini dance is performed genially. Slow dance moves, keeping perfect time along with the soft tinkle and slow beat of the bells & drums. Five young priests perform this dance without masks and portray female spiritual figures, the partners of Padmasambhava. Later, they announce the arrival of Guru Rinpoche at the Manu Rimdu. Two of the Ghing are male, and carry cymbals, while the two females carry drums. The males represent skillful means and the female represents wisdom.
There are many trekking program in Everest Region including Everest Base Camp Trek, Gokyo Valley, Chola pass and Everest High passes trek so, we can customize your trek in Everest Region in this festival time by offering chance to observe the Mani Rimdu festivals so, do let me know which trek you want to trek in the region with the festival then we offer you trekking program with the festivals.