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Everything You Need to Know About The Mani Rimdu Festival in Nepal

Buddhists in Nepal’s Everest region celebrate Mani Rimdu over a period of 19 days. It commemorates the day that Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava founded Buddhism.

Mani Rimdu got its start in the early 1900s at Tibet’s Rongpuk Monastery. Ngawang Tenzin Norbu, a student at Central Tibetan Mindroling Monastery, took the initiative. The Mindroling Monastery is the origin of the majority of the rituals that make up Mani Rimdu. Additionally, it refers to the Nyingma monastery in Central Tibet.

The founding of Buddhism in Tibet by Guru Rinpoche is known as Mani Rimdu (Padmasambhava). Buddhism is allegedly recreated during Mani Rimdu.In Mani Ramdu, there are six Preparations.

  • Construction of the sand mandala – Complex and symbolic designs constructed using colored sand.
  • The Empowerment (Wong) – The first official day of the ceremony.
  • The Dances (Chham) – Symbolic demons are vanquished, chased away, or changed into Dharma Protectors.
  • Ser-Kyem – A utensil used for tea offering.
  • The Fire Puja (Jinsak) – Worship of fire done in the yard.
  • Chhingpa – Four Protecting Ghings, protecting Buddhism from demonic assault

Significance

The festival marks by providing information regarding the succeeding Rinpoche. The information will go to the high lama head of the Sakya branch of Tibetan Buddhism. When he gives a name, the monks must organize into groups and search for the specified family.

The reborn Rinpoche will then need to pass a test. The test involves recalling instances from the previous Tengboche Rinpoche’s life. He will be sent to several monasteries for training after passing the exam. At this point, the Rinpoche’s post will become available and claimed at Tengboche.

Celebrations

Tengboche, Thame, and Chiong monasteries put on magnificent performances for the celebration. These monasteries lie in the Solukhumbu district. The one that houses the world’s peak, Everest. Hence, tourists traveling here during the festival month can observe the monasteries in glory. The Tengboche monastery is a significant part of the Everest Base Camp trek.

These monasteries host a significant gathering of Lamas and Sherpas, who come together for the benefit of the world. They participate in feasts, prayers, and mask dances to commemorate the festival.

These sacred ceremonies are part of a series that emphasizes empowerment. The event is celebrated for nineteen days. The culmination of the celebration is a three-day public festival.

Sherpas have time to assemble and join the monastic community in celebrating this festival. Lamas and Sherpas congregate at the monastery for five days to promote world peace. The virtuous are rewarded, and demons are slain.

The monks dress in elaborate costumes and masks. Dramatize the victory of Buddhism over Bon through a series of ritualistic Lama dances.

Prayers are a big part of the festival’s first two days, and on the second day, when the colorful lamas dance, they wear brocade dresses and exquisitely painted papier-mâché masks. The final day features some silly dances and chanting of prayers

Numerous locals and visitors from abroad attend the performance. The real and ideal Sherpa culture and stunning Himalayan scenery are rewards of this trek.

Occurrence 

The Mani Rimdu festival is timed according to the Tibetan Lunar calendar. In Tengboche, the Mani Rimdu is performed in the ninth Tibetan month. This typically falls in October or November and is full moon time. The 8th, 9th, and 10th of November 2022 will see the Mani Rimdu Festival.

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