April 14, 2017
Nyungne is performed for four days at the monastery at the end of May or July early June. It is the period of atonement. People believe that Nyungne brings a high and powerful merit to the observers. It involves fasting and other abstentions together with acts of humility and contrition. It is the major occasion in which the common people may systematically enact and experience the ascetic ethic.
During the fasting, the prayer "Om Mani Pad Me Hung Rhi" is chanted and prostration is frequently followed before the altar. Participation in nyungne, as in all other Sherpa rituals, is made on voluntary and individual basis.
The complete celebration extends over four days. On the first day, there is sang (incense burning) ceremony. On the second day, the penitents spend the day in the monastery, with the lamas leading them in simple prayers and recitations. On the mid day, the lawas (organizers/voluntary sponsors) serve the penitents with large meal.
Following the meal, they maintain a complete fasting and do not talk to anyone through out the third day until the dawn of the fourth day. At this time too the participants are given a big meal. Finally, breaking the fast and the silence on the fourth day, the lamas prepare necessary items for chhok (food items) ceremony to be held in the evening. Most of the villages attend this ceremony. After the chhok, people volunteer for the various contributions for next years' Nyungne. The main purpose of this festival is to cleanse the sin of the worshippers, to help them obtain more sonam (merit), prosperity, good health, long life, mental peace, welfare of the world creatures and world peace.
Content provided by Sonam Jangbu Sherpa