Mani Rimdu is a sacred Festival celebrated at Tengboche Monastery of Solukhumbu, Nepal. The name “Mani Rimbu” means ‘Mani’ means “part of the chant ” and ‘Rilbu’ or ‘Rimdu’ means small red pills that are blessed during the festival. During this festival, the red pills will bless and then distribute to all those who attend. It will celebrate for nineteen days, which concludes with three days of public festival. It is held during the tenth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, which lies in October–November from the Gregorian calendar. The family of Sherpa people gather with their friends and family and celebrate. Lamas and Sherpa gather at the monastery for five days. If you planning for the Everest region trek, then between September to November is the best. You can experience the biggest culture of the Sherpa people of Nepal.
When is Mani Rimdu in 2019?
The date of the Mani Rimdu Festival will fix according to the Tibetan calendar. The head lama at the Tyangboche Monastery announce the dates. In Tengboche, this festival will be in 9th Tibetan month which usually falls in October or November of the English calendar. In 2019, Mani Rimdu Festival will celebrate from the 12th of November 2019. The festival date will be announced by the head lama of the Tengboche Monastery.
Preparation of Festival
It is divided into six preparations.
Construction of the sand mandala
Different colors of sand will use to construct the sand mandala. It takes 4 days to makes those complicated and symbolic designs of the mandala. Mandala means a circular figure representing the universe’s Buddhist symbolism. The bowl of red pills is kept at the center of mandala during the festival. The monks chants “OM AH HUNG RHI, OM MANI PADME HUMG”, thousands of times during the festival. While monks are in meditation, they imagine kindness flowing in the form of the mantra, into the Mandala and the Mani Rilwu pills. Then Kindness releases out from the Mandala, blessing all those who attend this festival. The sacred Mani Rilwu (sacred or blessed pills) and Tshereel (pills for long life) are given to everyone attending the festival.
(Wong) The Empowerment
Wong means the opening day of a public ceremony. “Wong” will perform on the full moon day. According to the Tibetan lunar calendar, wong will be in the tenth month.
(Chham) The Dances
Chham will be on the second day of this festival. On this day, monks wear Symbolic demons mask and dance, chase away, or transformed to Protectors of religion (Dharma). These dances are very sacred and only done at this festival. This dance display the defeat of demons and the initiation of Buddhism to Tibet. During the dance, monks will become a divine being.
On this day, they use to offer the tea to Dharma guards such as Mahakala. It contains two pieces: a larger raised dish-shaped bowl and a smaller raised offering bowl. They put smaller in an upright position in the larger dish while serving. When not in use, the smaller offering bowl will place upside down in the larger bowl. They make this type of spiritual nectar in many other festivals too.
(Jinsak) Worship the Fire
In Buddhist and Hindu culture fire is consider as spiritual and we worship them. On this day, they do fire puja to offer the Agni (the fire god) and gods of the mandala.
The next dance portrays the Four Protecting Ghings, defending the Buddhist faith against attack by demons.
Itinerary for this festival
Day 01: Kathmandu – Lukla – Trek to Ghat (2,590 m).
Today you will have an adventurous 30 min flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. During your flight, you can see beautiful mountains, gigantic green hills, and rivers. After you reach Lukla then you will start your short trek to Ghat.
Day 02: Trek from Ghat to Namche Bazaar (3, 440 m).
Namche Bazaar is a beautiful place. You can see many houses and hospitable peoples. Namche bazar is the origin of Sherpa People. Here are many things to explore and hangout.
Day 03: Acclimatization at Namche Bazaar (3440m).
Day 04: Trek to Tengboche (3, 870m).
From Namche Bazar, it takes about 5-6 hours trek to Tengboche. During your trek, you will see the beautiful distance mountains and green hills.
Day 05-06: Attend the Mani Rimdu Festival.
The festival is on the 12th so you have to be there on the 11th of November.
Day 07: Trek to Namche (3440m), 5-6 hours walk.
Day 08: Trek to Lukla/2800m 2/3 hours walk.
Day 09: Fly back to Kathmandu.