Overview of Dumji Festival at Khumjung
This festival occurs in the Everest region of Nepal. It is one of the greatest and very special festivals taking place in the Khumbu area. Dumji is celebrated with much enthusiasm by the Sherpa community. It is celebrated in all the Sherpa settlements in the month of May/June (the dates of the festival vary from year to year). This festival has both religious as well as community values. 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”.
This festival is a deeply rooted tradition and consists of ethnic dances. Every twenty year, the tradition says that every family should take turns to host the festival, it comes upon one family has to provide food and drink for the entire village during this festival, thus it might become extremely costly for them. It is celebrated for five days in the monastery, the villagers will be gathered to enjoy the mask dances and take blessing from the head monk “Rinpoche”.
The five days are celebrated as following ways:
First day: At the time of 2,3pm, the villagers will be gathered at monastery and the host family of the day 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 began to worship. Later, after lunch, all will gathered in monastery and welcome the head monk. Then began to worship their village’s god ‘’ Khumbiyulha’.
Third day: After lunch, again the villagers will gathered at monastery and enjoy the dances perform 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, the villagers will gathered and the monks will perform dances and in the evening, all will go to the ground and the head monk will chase away evil spirit by burning the effigies during an exorcism ritual known as ‘’Logpar’’.
Fifth day: The head monk ‘’Rinpoche’’ will give blessings to the villagers and next eight family will be chose to host the next year Dumji. At night, all will dance and sing in the compound of monastery.
(Each day, the host family of the festival will provide food and drinks to the villagers at their home and perform Sherpa traditional dance after dinner)
Dumji festival is intended to prevent misfortunes and promote peace and prosperity in the village.
This being the time of monsoon, no other such festivals are celebrated, hence, it became one of the important festival of the month. This five days festival is a complete package for you to enjoy the High Himalayas culture, religious, dances, etc.