Festival celebrated during the full moon of October/November; ritual dances depict the triumph of Buddhism over Bon.
Monastery - largest and most active in the Khumbu, gompa, Mani Rimbu festival in the fall.
Island Peak was originally named by Eric Shipton in 1952 (some sources say 1951) and was so named because it sits in the middle of the upper Chhukhung valley, like an island in the middle of a sea of ice. It was officially renamed Imja Tse in the early 1980s. Imja Tse simply means Island Peak in Nepali.
Much of the upper Khumbu Valley is within Sagarmatha National Park. The park was created in 1976 and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1979. It was first climbed in 1953 as part of a training exercise by a British expedition that went on to summit Mt Everest. Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who was one of the first two humans credited with climbing Mount Everest, was also one of the first to summit Island Peak.
It's considered to be a moderately easy peak by alpine standards and can be attempted by people with little or no alpine experience. Normally, trekking/climbing organizations offer to teach the novice Alpinist what they need to know to attempt the peak.
Island Peak can be climbed during two seasons on either side of the monsoon, spring (mid-March to May) and autumn (mid-September to November). It's possible to climb the peak during the winter but cold temperatures will present additional difficulties.
The summit of Island Peak is at 6,189m so the rate of elevation gain and the consequent risk of Altitude sickness or specifically Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a very real concern. Your general fitness and your acclimatization process will both be very important.
The trek to Island Peak initially follows the main Everest Base Camp Trek route, but separates near Dingboche. Most teams attempting the mountain will initially fly to Lukla and hike from there. Although itineraries include an attempt to summit Island Peak, many people visit the area as trekkers. If you are trekking and not climbing, there are additional options for exploring the Khumbu region.
Be aware that weather conditions around Lukla and Island Peak, as well as Kathmandu, may play havoc with flights and trekking/climbing schedules. It's best to be flexible with your arrival and departure dates and even be prepared to have the expedition cancelled completely, almost without notice.
If you succeed in reaching the summit of Island Peak, you'll be rewarded with views of nearby mountains such as , Lhotse, Nuptse and others in the immediate vicinity.