Mani Rimdu Festival is the most important festival of the Sherpa people that is held during the tenth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, corresponding to October–November of the Gregorian calendar. It is also the autumnal trekking season in the region when large groups of international tourists visit the Monastery to witness the festivities that last for nine days. The religious festivities involve ceremonies and meditation (Drupchen).
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 coloured 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.
The monks perform the masked dance, to usher some of the protective deities as manifestation of the legendary saint Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism; the dance numbers also display the defeat of demons and the initiation of Buddhism to Tibet. Thus, Tengboche Monastery and Mani Rimdu are major attractions for tourists in Nepal.
Trekking Region : Everest Region
Culture : Renowned Sherpa Culture.
Starting Point : Lukla.
End Point : Lukla.
Trek Duration : 20 Days.
Tour grade : Moderate
Highest Access : Chola pass (5320m) and Kalapather (5545m).
Best Season : October & November (depend on Tibetan calendar)
Type of trekking : Camping / Teahouse both.
Himalayan sights : Cho oyu, Mt. Everest, Makalu.
Summary : A High altitude trek to a valley Lake, Glacier, pass Excellent view of Everest, Makalu, cho-Oyu etc.
Day 01 : pick up from the Airport, transfer to hotel and welcome dinner.
Day 02 : Sightseeing in Katmandu valley.
Day 03 : Fly Kathmandu to Lukla trek to Phakding (2652m) (4 hrs).
Day 04 : Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3446m) (6 hrs).
Day 05 : Namche Bazaar Rest for acclimatization.
Day 06 : Namche to Phortse Thanga (3500m) (5 hrs).
Day 07 : Phortse to Dole (4200m) (4 hrs.
Day 08 : Dole to Marcherma (4410m) (3:30 hrs).
Day 09 : Marchermo to Gokyo Lakes (4750m) (4 hrs).
Day 10 : Summit Gokyo Ri (5350m) & overnight in Gokyo (4750m).
Day 11 : Gokyo to Thangna (4700m) (3 to 4 hrs).
Day 12 : Thangna to Dzong-La (4843m) via Cho La Pass (7 to 8 hrs).
Day 13 : Dzong La to Gorackshep (5150m) (5 hours).
Day 14 : Summit KalaPattar Peak (5545m) Dingboche. (6 to 7 hrs)
Day 15 : Dingboche to Tengboche monastery (3870m) (5 hrs).
Day 16 : Mani Rimdu Festival.
Day 17 : Mani Rimdu Festival.
Day 18 : Tengboche to Namache Bazar (3446m) (5 hours).
Day 19 : Namche Bazar to Lukla (2800m) (7 hrs).
Day 20 : Lukla to Kathmandu by flight.
Day 21 : Sightseeing/free day in Kathmandu.
Day 22 : Transfer you in International Airport for flight home.