April 14, 2017
Sherpas celebrate Dumji from the seventh to the thirteenth days of the fifth month. On the tenth day, they celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Rimpoche on a lotus flower. Another day is commemorated in memory of the attainment of enlightenment of Lama Sangwa Dorje. This festival serves as a religious and community duty to bring the villagers together. The responsibility for this festival falls on every household once or twice in a lifetime depending on the number of houses in the village. In the villages like khumjung, Pangboche, Namche and Thame, eight families a year get a turn to host the Dumji but each village has its own style of doing Dumji.
On this occasion, both rich and the poor join the celebration on equal footing. On the seventh day of the month, the lawas (organizers/voluntary sponsors) of the year hold a meeting to prepare for the festival. Next day, they arrange all the cooking utensils and foods . On the ninth day, eight families of these villages begin giving rice to host the Dumji. The next day is the Lhapsang puja to worship Khumbila. On the thirteenth day, a lama blesses the villagers for long life.
Special torma used at Dumji are made according to the mystic diagrams specific prayer service named "Thugdup Yang Nying Duepa." Sherpa believe that the negative results of their "bad karmas" can be minimized by attending and hosting the Dumji, performing offerings to the local gods and goddesses and serving food, tea and money to the Lamas and monks. It is also believed that it increases one's stock of virtue (Good karma) and results in prosperity, good health and welfare of the community.
Content provided from Sonam Jangbu Sherpa