Some of the Major Annual Ceremonies or Annual Practices of Rumtek Monastery are listed here. More detail on these profound and colorful events can be found at the monthly practice schedule section of the Rumtek monastery page.
A large crowd watches the monastic masked dancers celebrate the Four-Armed Mahakala Dance in the ceremonial courtyard in front of Rumtek Monastery
Practitioners and visitors around the world may gain greater benefit and enjoy Rumtek monastery more if they visit during one of these times. Among the most renowned sacred performances at Rumtek, the most elaborate ceremonies are during the Losar, or Tibetan New Year, and the Sacred Dances which take place during the summer and winter Drupchens.
1st through the 8th day - Tibetan Losar / New Year (8 days of celebration).
8th day - The celebration of the New Year is concluded with a local protective deities' New Year celebration where the "Lunta," wind-horse, flags are raised and Tibetan folk songs and dances are performed near the protectors' shrines.
During most Losars (not every year), Tibetan Opera Dance is performed for number of days as a celebration for the lay and monastic communities.
Performance of the Tibetan Opera Dance, performed annually at most celebrations of Losar, the Tibetan New Year
15th through 21st day - The practice of the "Offering To The Guru" (bla ma mchod pa), of the Fourteenth Karmapa, Thekchok Dorje.
3rd through the 10th day - The yearly (Summer) Drupchen, grand sadhana practice, that alternates between 1) The Padmasambhava practice called "Tse-Chu" (gsang 'dus bla ma'i las byang le'u brgyad pa) on the tenth day, a terma of Guru Chöwang, with the full opening of mandala and the Sacred Tantric Dances including the dance of the Eight Manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava; 2) The Vajrakilaya practice "Zabdun Phurpa" (zab bdun phur pa), a terma of Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa, with the full opening of mandala and the Sacred Tantric Dances.
15th day - Begins the "Yarney" (d.byar gnas), Summer Retreat, also known as the rainy season retreat, which lasts for six weeks. During this retreat, the monks focus on the study and very strict practices of the vinaya teachings.
1 week during the month - the week-long practice of "Ladrup" (bla sgrub), Guruyoga sadhana practice, by the present His Eminence the Tai Situpa Rinpoche, for a commemorative offering to the lord of the mandala, the kind guru who has bestowed upon us the lineage of the Kagyu order, His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa Ranjung Rikpe Dorje. A Butter Lamp offering is made at night.
The performance of the Black Hat Dance at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India.
22nd through 29th - The yearly (Winter) Drupchen, grand sadhana practice, an eight-day practice of the "Mahakala Puja" (mgon po ber nag can), Two-armed Mahakala, the special protector of the Karma Kagyu lineage, with the full opening of the mandala and the Sacred Tantric Dances including the dance of Mahakala and the retinues. This is one of the biggest sacred dance occasions for the Karma Kagyu lineage and it is an important celebration time because it takes place just before the Tibetan New Year.