By : Gokul Thapa -
Tyangboche Monastery is largest and oldest monastery in Khumbu region and it is most popular monastery, because of the monastery is on main trail to Everest Basecamp Trekking route.
Mani Rimdu Festival is one of the big festivals for Sherpa people which festival held and celebrate at Tyangboche Monastery. The date of the Mani Rimdu festival is fixed according to the Tibetan Lunar calendar. The head lama at the Tyangboche Monastery announces the dates. In Tengboche the Mani Rimdu is performed in the 9th Tibetan month which usually falls in October or November full-moon.
The meaning attributed to "Mani Rimdu" is that ‘Mani’ means “part of the chant of Chenrezig” and ‘Rilbu’ or ‘Rimdu’ means small red pills that are blessed during the festival. The red pills are blessed repeatedly during the festival and then distributed to all those who attend.The festival is a tradition passed on from its mother monastery, the Rongbuk. It begins with an elaborate depiction of the mandala diagram made with colored sand. This sand is extracted from a specified location in the hills. The mandala takes four days to draw; it is then covered, and is central to the religious festival that lasts for the next 10 days.
The program includes 16 dance numbers with interludes for comical effect. Finally, after all the devotees have left, the monks perform a fire rite to dispel all harm to the world. The sand mandala specially created for the festival is then formally removed with prayers for the benefit of all sentient beings. At the end of the festivities the resident Tengboche Rinpoche of the Monastery blesses the general public after which the 'Mask Dances' are performed by the monks. This period coincides with the cessation of work in the village at the end ofharvesting. Mani-Rimdu is the only big social event that draws together large crowds from all villagers in the Khumbu region.
Wong (The Empowerment) The Wong is the opening day of public ceremony. It is performed on the full moon day, of the tenth month in the Tibetan lunar calendar. The sacred Mani Rilwu (sacred or blessed pills) and Tshereel (pills for long life), are given to everyone attending.
Chham (The Dances) The dances take place on the 2nd day of Mani Rimdu symbolic demons are conquered, chase away, or transformed to Protectors of Dharma. As the theme of the dance positive forces fight with those of disorder through the dances.
The Fire Puja (Jinsak) The Fire Puja is performed in the yard the day after the dances. The Fire Puja is an offering to Agni (the god of fire), and to the Gods of the mandala - to allay all harm in the world. The harm is visualized as dissolving into the grain and butter is burned. Afterwards, the sand mandala in the temple is pull to pieces, and the sand is given as an offering to the serpent gods (Nagas).
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