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Mani Rimdu Mask Dance Festival

The Mani Rimdu festival, or the Mani Rimdu Mask Dance festival, celebrated at Chiwang monastery, is one of the most important religious activities in the 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 one’s innermost mind. During the festival, monks present a religious drama in 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 Guru-Tsen-Gye, the eight names or principal forms assumed by Guru Padmasambhava. The names are 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. A series of extensive and powerful mantras get recited tirelessly, create the mandala, and practice 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 monastery’s courtyard. As in the case of the Dumji festival, it is an occasion to get dressed in their most beautiful clothes and jewels, meet friends, and 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 in the region and monastic schools. The monastery’s site offers beautiful views of Mount Numbur, Peekye Peak, and the surrounding valleys full of villages.

The well known Mani Rimdu festivals, practised since ancient time, is of Chiwang Monastery and Tengboche Monastery in the Everest region. The monasteries are approached by combining a short and beautiful trek enjoying the Himalayan scenery around the end of the Autumn time in the country. So please detail us your interest at annatreks@gmail.com, and we will present you with 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”