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Mani Rimdu Mask Dance Festival

The Mani Rimdu festival celebrated at Chiwang monastery is one of the most important religious activities of the entire Everest region. The Nyingmapa monastery was built in 1919 and has become very famous for this sacred mask dance festival, which lasts for three days in the tenth Tibetan month (November-December). Mani Rimdu aims to expel negative forces in ones’ innermost mind. During the festival, monks present a religious drama in the form of a mask dance representing divine beings, and symbolic demons are conquered and dispelled or converted to positive forces, the Dharma Protectors. The festival mainly commemorates the deeds of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava), the great Nyingmapa scholar and the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, and his eight manifestations. The eight manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava does not mean eight different Guru Padmasambhava but are the major virtuous acts performed in the various needs in different time and situations. In Tibetan Buddhism the eight manifestations are called Guru-Tsen-Gye, the eight names or principal forms assumed by Guru Padmasambhava. The names are respectively the birth, ordination, subjugating demonic spirits, establishing Buddhism in Tibet, mastery of the teachings, kingship, subjugation of non-Buddhists, and concealing terma (binding the spirits under oath).

The entire festival time is 19 days, from the beginning to the end, during which a series of extensive powerful mantras get recited tirelessly, creates the mandala, and practices the Buddhist teachings on many levels. The concluding public day falls on a full-moon day with blessings and offerings from the head of monks of the monastery. During the festival, all Sherpa people from Solu-Khumbu gather in the courtyard of the monastery. As in the case of the Dumji festival, it is an occasion to get dressed in their most beautiful clothes and jewels, meet friends, enjoy good food, drink, and merrymaking.

This monastery lies on a top of a sheer cliff on the northwestern corner of Phaplu, and it is the second most active monastery of the region and monastic schools. There are beautiful views of Mount Numbur, Peekye Peak, and valleys full of villages.

The well known Mani Rimdu festivals, practised since ancient time, is of Chiwang Monastery and Tengboche Monastery, in Everest region. The festival can be approached, combining a short and beautiful trek enjoying the Himalayan sceneries at around the end of the Autumn time in the country. Please detail us your interest at annatreks@gmail.com, and we will present you one of the best itineraries that suit your interest and make it a memorable trip to Nepal.

an occasion to get dressed in their most beautiful clothes and jewels, meet friends, enjoy good food, drink, and merrymaking”