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Dumje Festival

This is a very special festival in the Solukhumbhu area celebrated in the month of May or June every year. There is much dancing, drinking and merry making in addition to the more serious rituals and dances performed by the monks.  

The Dumje festival celebrates and honors the anniversary of Guru Rinpoche’s birth on the lotus flower. Lama Sangwa Dorgje is the founder of the earliest monasteries of Solukhumbhu and he was the first to start the Dumje festival.

Sherpas, the major ethnic group in Solu region, have a rich culture with many festivals throughout the yearNormally, the Sherpas have four special prayer times each month; at the new moon, the full moon, dashami( the tenth day) and Nishunga. Major festivals observed in the monasteries and villages of Solu are described below. 

Dumje is an important festival celebrated by the Solu Sherpa Community. Dumje is held at Junbesi monastery every January. The celebration of Dumje festival began in Kyilkhor-Dingma in 1971 , and in Samten-Choeling monastery in 1998. Since 1992, the tantric dance of Guru Tsengye( the eight different aspects of Guru Rimpoche,Padmasambhava) has been performed annually. Its primary objective is to subdue all the evil spirits that harm sentient the demonic forces, hindrances and evil spirits on the one hand and to appease the high gods on the other. 

The festival serves as a religious and community duty to help bring the villagers together. Every twenty years it falls upon one family to provide food and drink for the entire village for the duration of the celebrations, which last for 4 days. Each family has its turn to provide the festival for the village, which is quite costly for that family. On a rotation basis, four laws are chosen to undertake the responsibility of conducting Dumje and sometimes it leads a family to bankruptcy. 

Kindly contact us for more details regarding the festival date, itinerary, program, price and over all package. 

Mani Rimdu is similar to Dumje in that it also involves ritual activities and masked tantric dances. However, in Mani Rimdu, Chenrezig (Avalokiteswara, the Buddha of Compassion) appears in neither a wrathful nor peaceful aspect and so the offering of sacramental cakes (torma) is not required. The devotees recite the six syllable mantra of Chenrezig Om Ma Ne Pad Me Hum for several days, placing mani pills in front of the shrine. Thus the name, Mani Rimdu-Rim means 'pills', whereas dum means 'to accomplish'. Mani Rimdu first spread among Sherpa communities at the beginning of 20th century.Mani Rimdu is observed at Chiwong monastery, atop a hill about three hours walk from Phaplu,. During the rite of Jhabab Thuichen (the coming down from the gods), first the chorten is painted and on the following evening Chho ( worship) is performed at Junbesi village temple. This rite is related to the Buddha's returning on the earth after paying a visit to his mother.Both Mani Rimdu and Dumje are practices of the highest Tantric yoga, which involves direct dealing with Lama ( spiritual teacher), Yidam (personal meditation deity), Khadro (Dakani or female celestial beings who protects those practising the Dharma) , and Chokyong Sungma( the Dharma protectors) . Through this Tantric yoga practice one can accomplish the Dual Accumulations-Accumulation of Merit and Accumulation of Insights. With the achievement of these two one is helped towards attaining Buddhahood by eliminating the Two Obstruction- the Delusive Obstruction to Liberation and the Obstruction to Omniscience.

Is celebrated at the
Dudh Kunda Lake in the lap of Mt. Numbur (4627m) to the north of Phaplu. Chho Thudukyong Karmo is its Sherpa name. The lake, which lies in Chaurikhara vdc, and is considered holy by several different ethnic groups of Nepal . To the Sherpas of Solu,it is the homeplace of their god. The lake gets its name Dudh Kunda-literally, - ' Milk Lake '- from its pale, glacier-fed waters. There are other smaller lakes in the vicinity. To the right is the murky lake, Bhairab Kunda. Others include Maha Kunda, which lies between two mountains, and Shri kunda.The Sherpas consider Mt. Numbur as their god, and since Dudh Kunda is below this mountain and receives water from it, the water is sacred as well. In fact, Dudh Kunda is sacred to several different ethnic groups, who celebrate it in various legends and myths. Shivalinga, the creative lingam of the Lord Shiva,stands at one corner of the Lake . Childless Sherpa women visit this lakeside shrine with an empty cradle, in supplication for a child.A fair is held every year from mid August to mid-SeptemberThe Sherpas of Solu and other ethnic groups-Tamang, Gurung, Brahmin, Chhetri, Rai, Newar and others - visit the lake. Between1500 and 2,000 devotees from more than 10 districts pay their homage to the Shivalinga beside the lake. Hindus bath in the lake while Sherpas circumambulate it chanting prayers ( Sherpas consider the lake holy, hence they stand aside rather than 'pollute' the water through bathing).Devotees also take the holy water to their homes and use it as 'pure' water in their daily prayers and ceremonies or as a sacred medicine in time of illness.



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