Everest Base Camp – Puja Ceremony
Today was another rest day at Everest Base Camp. That said, it was a significant day as our “puja” ceremony was held.
The Puja Ceremony is very significant from a religious perspective given our Sherpa staff are Buddhist. This ceremony always happens before the first step onto the mountain. Essentially it is asking the gods for permission to climb and for safe keeping.
The ceremony was orchestrated by our Sherpa crew with the assistance of the local Lama. It is about seeking permission and forgiveness to climb “Sagarmatha” – what the Nepalese call Everest, meaning “Forehead in the Sky” – as well as for safe keeping while climbing the mountain. The ceremony involves lots of rice throwing and culminates with daubing all participants faces with flour. This is done to signify a grey beard and long life.
Climbers are asked to bring an item they intend to take up the mountain so it can be blessed. Hence the photo of the ice axes and other climbing equipment.
After the ceremony we enjoy a traditional lunch with the sherpa staff.
All in all a great morning. Now we are set to proceed.
Offerings to the gods.
Fanning the face with flour for a symbolic Grey Beard which signifies long life.
Receiving my blessing from the Lama.
Climbers have an item or two blessed that they intend taking up the mountain. Brad chose his ice axe.
The ceremony was followed by a traditional lunch with our Sherpa staff.
Read more on the Adventure Consultants expedition dispatches.