Deaths of 16 Sherpa guides in an avalanche last month and the country’s republic day functions eclipsed the annual Everest Day celebrations in Nepal on Thursday.
The day is marked every year on May 29 to commemorate the first ascent of Mount Everest by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay in 1953.
But deaths of the Sherpa in the biggest accident in Everest’s history, which resulted in an abrupt end to this season’s climbing expeditions on the mountain, affected celebrations this time.
“Nearly 2,000 people belonging to over 40 tourism related associations carried out a rally in the morning to mark the event,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of Nepal Mountaineering Association.
The lone survivor of the 1953 expedition, Kancha Sherpa, 81 was felicitated and statutes of Hillary and Tenzing were garlanded to mark the day which also concluded the year-long diamond jubilee celebrations of the first ascent.
On Wednesday evening hundreds took part in a candle light march to remember the 16 Sherpas who perished in the avalanche.