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 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 the September to November is the best. You can experience the biggest culture of the Sherpa people of Nepal.
When is Mani Rimdu at 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 is held in 9th Tibetan month which usually falls in October or November of English calendar. At 2019, Mani Rimdu Festival will celebrate from 12th of November 2019. The date is used to announce by the head lama of the Tengboche Monastery.
Preparation of Festival
It is divide into six preparations.
a) 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 design of mandala. Mandala means a circular figure representing the universe 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.
b) (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 on the tenth month.
c) (Chham) The Dances
Chham will be on the second day of this festival. In 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 in 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.
In 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. The smaller is place 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.
e) (Jinsak) Worship the Fire
In Buddhist and Hindu culture fire is consider as spiritual and we worship them. In 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 – Luka – Trek to Ghat (2590m)
Day 02: Trek from Ghat to Namche Bazaar (3440m)
Day 03: Acclimatization at Namche Bazaar (3440m)
Day 04: Trek to Tengboche (3870m), 5-6 Hours Hike.
Day 05: Attend the Mani Rimdu Festival.
The festival is on 12th November, so you have to be there on that date.
Day 06: Attend the Mani Rimdu Festival.
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.