Anyone who has been on the Everest Base Camp Trek, especially from October to February, knows- how Khumbu transforms itself in the festive season from, the otherwise, dull and snowy region to an ever sparkling land of noisy and drunk inhabitants!
Famous for being the home of the tallest set of mountains in the world, Khumbu is also well known for its culture, traditions, people and most importantly, the celebrations.
So, for the explorers waiting curiously to shoot two birds with one arrow- trek to the Everest Base Camp and as well as experience a bit of a charm of local jamboree, here is the list of most celebrated festivals in the region.
You definitely wouldn’t want to miss these.
If you’re planning to make a visit to this region during May/ June, well, you’re up for a treat. Singing, dancing and heavy drinking is a general idea at this time because people all over Khumbu celebrate Dumje.
The ritual, initiated at Pangboche over 300 year ago, continues till this day with similar grace and enthusiasm. You can experience it at Tengboche, Namche Bazar, Khumjung, Pangboche and Junbesi of Solukhumbu. Among these, the festival in Namche is the most interesting and popular one.
Every year, a family from the village is chosen who, for 4 days, sponsors the festivities (food, drinks and pretty much everything). Important both religiously and socially, this festival is commemorated to mark the birth anniversary of high level Buddhist priest- Guru Rinpoche.
It is the biggest festival celebrated in the Khumbu region or to be precise at Tengboche Monastery. The festival is celebrated in October which also happens to be the peak trekking season here in Nepal. A trip to the EBC at this time might be a good idea.
The 19 day celebration followed by masked dances, prayers, food and homemade wines sure looks fun! If your Everest Base Camp trek occurs in late October or early November, you may be able to witness this vibrant celebration at Tengboche Monastery.
Made famous by its rituals and the incredible atmosphere, generated by the whole community, the gathering seems promising enough to be a part of especially after a tough day on a trail.
Lhosar is the Tibetan New Year, a three- day festival that brings together sacred and secular practices – prayers, ceremonies, hanging prayer flags, folk dancing and partying. It is celebrated during February/ March.
During the month before Lhosar, in Tibetan households, the eight auspicious symbols and other signs are drawn on walls with white powder. In monasteries, several protector deities are honored with devotional rituals.
On the last day of the year, monasteries are elaborately decorated. In homes, cakes, candies, breads, fruits and beer are offered on family altars.
Though we’re talking about religious festivals here, I might just add the Everest Marathon, which is increasingly becoming more of a tradition in itself, here in Khumbu Region.
To honor the historical ascent of Mt. Everest by late Tenzing Norgay Sherpa & Sir Edmund Hillary on May 29th, 1953, “Everest Marathon” is organized on the same date ever year.
This is an international high altitude adventure sports event participated by people from all over and open to all high altitude running enthusiasts. So grab a pair of running shoes and run along the Himalayas!
Well, the last festival was quite a wild card, wasn’t it! If you know more of such festivals, mention them in the comment section. We’d like to have your views too.
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