Dumji is the most important festival in the Sherpa community. It is celebrated in the month of May or June every year in Helambu and Khumbu region. Dumji Festival marks the anniversary of Guru Rinpoche’s birth on the Lotus flower. The founder of the earliest monastery of the Khumbu, Lama Sangwa Dorji, was the first to start Dumji Festival in Pangboche around 360 years ago.
The Festival has both the religious as well as community values. It serves as a duty to help bring the villagers together. The responsibility for this festival falls on every household once or twice in a lifetime. Every year, three local representative families have to provide food and drink for the entire village during the four day celebration. Each family, in turn, has to provide for the festival in the village which is quite costly.
During the festival, local families visit each other to feast and have fun. Rituals and dances are also performed by monks in the monastery. And apart from serious ritual, all the Sherpa’s including the monks celebrate the festival by dancing, drinking and enjoyment.
This Festival is performed by the Tengboche monks in Tengboche, Namche Bazaar. Khumjung and Pangboche of Khumbu and Junbesi of Solukhumbhu. The festival in Namche is the most popular and interesting one among them all. These dates may vary by one or more days as the Tengboche Rinpoche, Abbot of Tengboche Monastery, may alter the schedule depending on local events.
May or June, being the monsoon season, no other such festivals are celebrated, hence, Dumji Festival becomes one of the major festivals of the month.