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Corona Update Nepal

Dumji Festival Trek

Abhishek Subedi August 6, 2020

Dumji Festival is celebrated in all the Sherpa settlements in the month of July. The Sherpas of Kathmandu and Helambu regions participate in dancing on this day. Generally, there are no such major festivals in this month. Being the rainy season, this month is the peak time for harvesting crops.This is a very special festival in the Khumbu area celebrated in the month of July every year. There is much dancing and merry making in addition to the more serious rituals and dances performed by the monks.The Dumji Festival celebrates and honors the anniversary of Guru Rinpoche birth on the lotus flower. Lama Sangwa Dorji is the founder of the earliest monastery of Khumbu and he was the first to start the Dumji festival in Pangboche about 365 years ago in order to coincide with the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche. 

The festival serves as a religious and community duty to help bring the villagers together. Every 13 years it falls upon three families to provide food and drink for the entire village for the duration of celebrations, which lasts for 4 days. Dumji festival is performed by the Tengboche Monks in Tengboche, Namche Bazar, Khumjung and Pangboche of Khumbu, and Junbesi of Solu. The festival in Namche is the most interesting and popular one amongst them all. These dates may vary by one or more days as the Tengboche Rinpoche, abbot of Tengboche Monastery. Dumji Festival is Celebrated by the Sherpa people in Namche Bazar, at Tengboche, at Thame and Chiwong Monastery of Khumbu. The festival celebrates the birth of Guru Rinpoche on a lotus flower. It is a colorful and impressive event, organized by one family from the villages in the region.

Dumji Festival Trek

The five days are celebrated as following ways:

First day: At the time of 2,3pm, the villagers will gather at the monastery and the host family will provide 1kg of rice to each member of the family.

Second day: Early morning, the villagers will set up for worship, they will get ready in their traditional dresses and begin to worship. Later, after lunch, all will gather in the monastery and welcome the head monk. Then began to worship their village’s god ”Khumbiyulha’’.

Third day: After lunch, again the villagers will gather at the monastery and enjoy the dances performed by the monks. The monks will wear different kinds of masks and dresses and perform dances. In the evening, the head monk will burn fire, known as ‘’Jingsang’’.

Fourth day: As usual, all will gather and the monks will perform dances and in the evening, all will go to the ground and the head monk will chase away evil spirits by burning the effigies during an exorcism ritual known as ‘’Logpar’’.

Fifth day: The head monk ‘’Rinpoche’’ will give blessings to the villagers and the next eight families will be chosen to host the next year Dumji. At night, all will dance and sing in the compound of the monastery. 

Day 1 Fly to Lukla and Trek to Phakding

The trekking will start with the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla airport. Lukla airport offers you with lifetime experience as it is one of the dangerous airports in the world. The runway of the airport lies between the two hills which is the difficult runaway for the experienced pilot also. Its airfield is at high elevation and the difference between the two ends of the runway is about 60 metres. From here trekkers will begin their trek to the Phakding with green landscape and view of Kusum Kangaru. The trekkers will stay at the guesthouse here and enjoy the evening and night time with the local cuisine and dinner. 

Day 2 Phakding to Namche Bazaar

From Phakding trekkers have to cross the river to reach the valley. The trail is near to the river valley with beautiful blue pine and rhododendron forest. After crossing the Dudh Koshi at Benkar , trekkers can get the sight of snow capped peaks of Kusum Kangaru and Thamserku. It is only the short walk to Monjo where trekkers gather around to have lunch. From Monjo , National Park is about a short distance. In the hours of daylight the walking is a little problematic and is an uphill way to Namche bazaar. The trail now goes to the generally flat terrain, crossing back to the right bank to the meeting point of the Bhote Koshi and Dudh Koshi Rivers.  The trekkers have to walk through the large suspension bridge.   

Dumji Festival Trek

Day 3 Namche bazaar to Everest View Hotel

This is the day for acclimatization to the trekkers. The trekkers will hike to Syangboche Airport 3700 metres, the highest airport in the world. Then continue to climb to the Everest View Hotel for great panoramic views of Everest, Lhotse, Amadablam and Tawache. On the way back you can visit Sherpa culture museum and Everest Photo Gallery. 

Day 4 Namche Bazaar to Thame

Moving alongside the bank of Bhote Koshi River, you will walk past several Chortens on your way. Relishing the view of stunning snow-capped peaks in the background, you will arrive in the village of Thame. You will then cross the suspension bridge over the Bhote Koshi River, which will lead you to Thame.

Day 5 Thame to Khumjung

Leaving behind Thame, you will ascend to the village of Khumjung passing through Khunde. You will also visit Khunde Monastery and Hillary Hospital on the way. You will continue to trek in the valley until you reach Khumjung. Later in the evening, you will also go to visit Khumjung Monastery where you can see the Skull of Yeti.

Day 6 Observe Dumji Festival at Khumjung Monastery

 This festival serves as a religious and community duty to help bring the villagers together. Along with the serious rituals and dances performed by the monks, the festival is celebrated with dance and merry making to honor the anniversary of Guru Rinpoche’s birth on the lotus flower. Khumjung monastery is famous for the ”Yeti Scalp ” as well. Anyone can visit the monastery and get a chance to see the Yeti scalp. It is celebrated for five days in the monastery, the villagers will be gathered to enjoy the mask dances and take blessings from the head monk “Rinpoche”. 

Day 7 Khumjung to Phortse

Trekking through the forested path, you will head towards Sanasa. You will then pass through the village of Mongla and cross a wooden bridge over the Dudh Koshi River. Moreover, you will continue to ascend to Phortse through rhododendron forest. You will be surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks in Phortse. 

Day 8 Phortse to Pangboche

Leaving the village of Phortse, you will head towards Pangboche through a small and narrow trail. Accompanied by the beautiful view of Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8516m), Nuptse (7861m), Ama Dablam (6856m) in the background, you will make your way further up to Pangboche. After reaching, you will visit Pangboche Monastery situated above the village.

Day 9 Pangboche to Dingboche

Today, you will begin to trek along the left upstream of Imja Khola. You will then follow the hillside trail and reach the village of Somare. You will continue to trek through massive plains and grazing land which lead you to Dingboche. In Dingboche, you can meditate with a panoramic view of Everest (8848m), Lingtren (6749m), Khumbutse (6665m), Pumori (7165m), and other snow-capped mountains.

Dumji Festival Trek

Day 10 Hiking to Nakarjung Hermitage

To adjust with the thinning air, we take a short hike to Nakarjung Hermitage from where we can get the mesmerizing panoramic view of mountains and the valley of Dingboche and Pheriche. You can witness monks engage in prayers and meditation in the oldest hermitage of Khumbu region. You can also practice meditation in Nakarjung Hermitage if you wish to. We hike back to Dingboche for an overnight stay. 

Day 11 Dingboche to Tengboche

We retrace our trail back to Pangboche and cross across an iron bridge over Imja Khola. We then walk through a forested trail filled with rhododendron till we reach Deboche. En route, we will pass by several monasteries adorned with prayer flags. The trail is a surreal treat for spiritual voyagers. We continue to ascend through the forest to finally reach Tengboche. 

Day 12 Tengboche to Namche Bazaar

Crossing a wooden bridge over Dudh Koshi River, we climb down to Phunki Tenga. We trek past the water driven prayer wheels as we climb up to Kyangjuma village. Enjoying the glorious mountains vista, we continue to trek to Namche Bazaar.  

Dumji Festival Trek

Day 13 Namche Bazaar to Lukla

This trekking trail follows a sandy path with strenuous walk. The trail is full of views of landscape and some mountain scenarios. The trekkers can explore Lukla bazaar and local shops. You can also celebrate your successful trekking with special brands of drinks.

Day 14 Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu Valley

Fly from Lukla Airport to Kathmandu Airport and enjoy the panoramic views of snowy mountains from the window of the plane. 


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