Did you pack a party dress? In October, Thame monastery hosts the vibrant Mani Rimdu Festival—the highest masked dance festival in the world.
For seven days, fantastically-dressed monks gather at Thame and other monasteries in worship and festivity. The autumn celebration is dedicated to Chyenrezig, the deity of dance and compassion, invoked with the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum. The event features special masked dances, the creation of an intricate Sand Mandala, and the rites of Ser-kyem for the attainment of Buddhahood. Monks prepare tormas—figures of various shapes made with rice dough—and rilbu, pills attributed with longevity properties. Celebrations end with a fire ceremony and offerings to the gods. Talk about a new high!
3800m ( 12,467 ft)