Mount Everest Day – 29th May

Mount Everest Day – 29th May

International Everest Day is observed on 29th May every year in memory of Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay of Nepal who battled ice and storms to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain.

International Everest Day is celebrated since 2008, it was the year Edmund Hillary passed away. Nepal decided to observe 29th May as International Everest Day.

The Mt. Everest Day celebration has been a significant occasion for the promotion of Nepal’s mountain tourism. Participants include ministers, climbers, tourism entrepreneurs, and government officials. The day is celebrated with memorial events, processions, and special events in Kathmandu and the Everest region.


The first of the modern expeditions up Everest began in 1921 when the Dalai Lama allowed westerners access to the Tibet side of the mountain.

Since 1921, more than a dozen expeditions had attempted to reach the peak of the 29,029-foot-high Mount Everest, but all had fallen short. In 1953, a British expedition led by Col. John Hunt set off with 14 climbers, 35 Nepalese Sherpas, and more than 350 porters carrying some 18 tons of food and supplies. But the final ascent to the peak always failed and they were forced to turn back.

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay

Hunt then ordered the second pre-selected climbing team, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, to attempt the final climb. They set out up the south summit on May 28 and set up camp that night at 27,900 feet.

They continued their trek the following morning at 6:30 a.m. on May 29, 1953, they began the final attack. They encountered rocks, ice, and powder, which gave way beneath Hillary’s feet, sending him 30 feet down before he could regain hold. Lastly, they had to climb up a 40-foot ice face—now known as Hillary Step—called “the most formidable obstacle on the ridge” by Hillary. The two reached the peak at about 11:30 a.m.

Hillary described: “I continued hacking steps along the ridge and then up a few more to the right … to my great delight I realized we were on top of Mount Everest and that the whole world spread out below us.”

Hillary and Norgay quickly became international celebrities. News of their triumph reached Britain on June 2, the same day as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Weeks later, the queen knighted Hillary and Hunt and gave Norgay the British Empire Medal.

Edmund Hillary

Edmund Hillary, a beekeeper from New Zealand, participated in a 1951 exploratory expedition up Everest along with Norgay. After reaching the peak, he went on to live a life rich in adventure, exploring both the north and south poles.

While Hillary never held public office, he became a prominent government figure in his native New Zealand, advocating on behalf of conservation efforts and public service until his death in January 2008.

Tenzing Norgay

Tenzing Norgay was born either in Nepal or Tibet and raised in the Nepalese mountain village of Thame. His name, meaning “fortunate,” was given to him by a high lama. He served as a porter on Everest expeditions in the 1930s and tried to summit the mountain in several expeditions beginning in 1947.

Norgay was 39 when he finally reached the peak and went on to become a hero in Nepal and India, where he lived until his death in 1986. Though he never returned to the peak, his son followed in his footsteps and made the ascent in 1996.

Basic things about hiking to Everest

The best time to trek the Everest Base Camp trail or anywhere else in the Nepalese Himalayas for that matter is either in April – May (Spring) or October – November (Autumn) which are considered to be pre-monsoon and post-monsoon season respectively. There are less chance of rain and the colors of the season are in full swing at these periods.

  • You don’t have to be the fittest person in the world.

  • The slower you go, the better your chances of getting there.

  • Don’t pack more than 10kg in your backpack – you don’t need everything you think you do.

  • It’s more expensive than you think – the higher you go, the more expensive it gets.

  • Don’t bring 10 rolls of toilet paper despite being advised to, save the bag space.

  • It’s better to rent down jackets & sleeping bags if you’re only there for a short time.

  • Kathmandu ATM fees are enormous.

  • Opt for a local sim with data over buying wifi- it’s expensive too.

  • You’ll have to pay to charge your phone & cameras.

  • There are medications you can take to help prevent the effects of altitude sickness.

Suggested Read: Important Days In May

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.