Mani Rimdu festival is a sacred ceremonies and series of events of empowerment. It is a sequence of nineteen days celebration, which concludes with three days public festival. Sherpa get time to gather and celebrate this festival with monastic community. Mani Rimdu is generally celebrated by Sherpa in autumn at the Tengboche Monastery in the Everest region. Lamas and Sherpa gather at the monastery for five days. They gather for the welfare of the world. There are plays, masked dances, prayers and feasts. Demons are quelled and the pious are rewarded. It is a very colorful and ideal festival to combine with a trekking expedition in the Everest region..
Where: Khumbu, northeast Nepal – foothills of Everest
When: October / November
Happenings: dances depicting the Buddhist victory over the ‘Bon’ religion
Other things to see: amazing wildlife, prayer flags, serenity and the first view of Mount Everest.
In the Khumbu region of northeast Nepal, the home of the Sherpa people, lies the spectacular Tengboche Monastery. It is on the main route to the Base Camp of Mount Everest and offers the first clear views of the highest mountain in the world. Tengboche Monastery exhibits an important part of Nepal’s heritage..
The Sand Mandala
The sand mandala is carefully constructed, grain by grain, from colored sand. It is an intricate and symbolic design that takes many days to complete. Protective dagger deities are placed around the mandala, and the bowl of Mani Rilwu pills (spiritual medicine) is placed above the center.
The mandala becomes the palace of Garwang Thoze Chenpo, the Lord of the Dance; an emanation of the Buddha of Compassion, and the central deity of Mani Rimdu. The mantra “OM AH HUNG RHI, OM MANI PADME HUMG”, is repeated thousands of times by the monks, during weeks of ceremony preceeding the public festival. During their meditation, they visualize compassion flowing in the form of the mantra, into the Mandala and the Mani Rilwu Pills. Compassion then radiates out from the Mandala, blessing all those who attend the Mani Rimdu festival.
During their meditation, the monks visualize all their compassion flowing in the form of the mantra into the mandala and the rilwu pills. From the mandala, compassion radiates out, blessing all those who come to Chiwong and Tengboche.
The Rilwu Pills
Rinpoche calls this “liberation by eating”. The Rilwu are distributed to everyone, after he gives a long life empowerment to the people who come.
The torma is made from barley flour and decorated with colored butter. It begins by symbolizing the body of the deity, and by the end of the ceremony, symbolize enlightenment itself. It stands in the front of the mandala on its own shrine, at the very heart of the temple.
Other Things to See and Do
In days gone by, Tengboche monastery was remote and inaccessible. Today things have changed – over 30,000 people come every year to enjoy the beauty of Tengboche and splendor of the mountains.
In the quiet of the ancient forests surrounding Tengboche, the national bird of Nepal, the iridescent Dhaphe (or Impeyan pheasant) can frequently be seen and heard. Huge vultures dominate the skies above. Yellow billed choughs and black ravens play on the winds. These wild high places are also inhabited by the tahr and goral, both rare species of wild goat antelope, as well as the endangered musk deer. There are many rare kinds of medicinal plants and sweet smelling incense scrubs. Tall rhododendron forests of many different species and colors adorn the landscape in spring. Rocks are carved into with prayers and bright flags hung in high places carry prayers of compassion skywards.
Most visitors walk to Tengboche by way of Namche Bazaar. The trek takes fourteen days from Jiri or three days from the airstrip at Lukla. Tengboche lies on a ridge at an altitude of 3,867 meters. From Tengboche there are spectacular views of some of the world’s highest mountains including Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, Tamserku and Kantega. The ice walls of these mountains dominate the landscape and avalanches can frequently be heard rumbling high up the glaciers.
For the Mani Rimdu Festival Trek 2017. Please follow the link