14 days | Fixed Departure: Nov. 4, 2013 | Min. 2 persons. | Max altitude: 5,545m | Easy to Moderate
There are many festivals celebrated in the Khumbu region, the gateway to Mt. Everest but most famous one is the Mani Rimdu festival. In Tengboche monastery the Mani Rimdu is performed on the 9th month of the Tibetan lunar calendar which according to English calendar falls in late October. The monks of the monastery will chant prayers and perform many religious rituals according to the Buddhist tradition for ten days. For the local villagers the most important day is when they receive the blessings from Rinpoche - the high incarnated lama of the monastery. It is also the day when the monks perform the masked Dance. These colorful and festive celebrations are the culmination of those ten days of prayers on the Buddha of compassion - Chenrezig, for the benefits of all sentient beings.
The Mani Rimdu in Tengboche is performed according to the tradition of Mindroling that came from Rongbuk Monastery in Tibet. The name comes from "Mani" part of the prayer of Chenrezig, and "Rilbu" which are the small red pills, which are blessed during the ceremony and distributed to everyone at the end.
A beautiful and intricate sand mandala or sacred diagram is drawn on a wooden floor. The sand is collected from a special place high in the mountains. It takes four days to complete the mandala then it is covered and used as a focus for the next ten days meditation. The monks perform the sacred mask dances known as "Cham". There are sixteen different dances with some comic interludes that delight the crowd. These dances are a recreation of the establishment of Buddhism in the Himalayas by the legendary Padmasambhava, known as Guru Rinpoche who spread Buddhism in Tibet. The dances convey Buddhist teachings on many levels from the simplest truth to the most profound realization. Throughout the dances, symbolic demons are conquered, dispelled or subdued. The symbolism can be interpreted on many levels; the inner "demons" of hatred, greed and ignorance overcome through meditation on compassion and wisdom. On the last day a fire ceremony is performed by the monks to allay all the harm in the world. Consequently, the sand mandala is symbolically dismantled and the merit dedicated to the benefit of all sentient beings.
GLIMPSE OF MANI RIMDU FESTIVAL AND TENGBOCHE MONASTERY
Nov 04: Arrival in Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel.
Nov 05: Full day Kathmandu sight seeing tour.
Nov 06: Fly to Lukla (25 minutes). Trek to Phakding (4 hours). Overnight in lodge 2,640m.
Nov 07: Trek to Namche Bazar. Overnight in lodge.
Nov 08: Rest day at Namche Bazar for acclimatization.
Nov 09: Trek to Tengboche. Overnight in lodge.
Nov 10: Mani Rimdu festival at Tengboche Monastery. Wang - blessing ceremony.
Nov 11: Second day at the festival. Witness the Cham - mask dance.
Nov 12: Third day at the festival. Witness the Jinsak - closing ceremony.
Nov 13: Trek to Namche. Overnight in lodge.
Nov 14: Trek to Lukla. Overnight in lodge.
Nov 15: Fly back to Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel.
Nov 16: Sightseeing tour of Patan and Bhaktapur. Back to hotel followed by farewell dinner.
Nov 17: Transfer to airport. Trip concludes!