The Mani Rimdu festival in Tengboche is performed in the 9th month of the Shepa Tibetan calendar ( corresponds to 3rd week of October) according to the tradition of Mindroling and came from Rongbuk Monastery north of Tengboche in Tibet. The name comes from "Mani" part of the chant of Chenrezig, and "Rilbu" which are the small red pills, which are blessed throughout the ceremony and distributed to everyone at the end.
At the beginning a beautiful and intricate mandala or sacred diagram is drawn in fine colored sand. The sand is collected from a special place high in the mountains. It takes four days to complete the mandala then it is covered and used as a focus for the next ten days meditation.
At the end of the ceremonies the monks perform the sacred mask dances known as Cham. There are sixteen dances with some comic interludes that delight the crowds. These dances are a recreation of the establishment of Buddhism in the Himalayas by the legendary Padmasambhava, known as Guru Rinpoche. The dances convey Buddhist teachings on many levels from the simplest truth to the most profound realization. Throughout the dances, symbolic demons are conquered, dispeled or subdued. The symbolism can be interpreted on many levels; the inner "demons" of hatred, greed and ignorance overcome through meditation on compassion and wisdom. A blessing ceremony (wong) is offered by the Tengboche Rimpoche Nawang Tenzing Zangpo ( the chief abbot of the Tengboche Monastery) to the local Sherpas who have come to attend the festival.
On the last day when most people have gone home a fire ceremony is performed by the monks to allay all the harm in the world. Afterwards the sand mandala is symbolically dismantled and the merit dedicated to the benefit of all sentient beings.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
Day 2: Walk and Tour in Kathmandu
Day 3: Fly to Lukla and trek to begin trek
Day 4 ~6: Trek to Tengboche - making of the sand Mandala
Day 7: Dance rehearsal and Dhupchen
Day 08: Wong (blessing ceremony)
Day 09: Cham Dances begins. During the whole night there is traditional dancing by the Sherpa community
Day 10: Jinsang - fire ceremony
Day 11~12: Trek back to Lukla
Day 13: Fly Lukla - Kathmandu
Day 14: Free day in Kathmandu
Day 15: Trip ends