An opening ceremony takes place on Sunday, March 5 at 3 p.m. when the lamas consecrate the site and call forth the forces of goodness through chanting, music and mantra recitation. The lamas then begin the process by drawing an outline of the mandala on the wooden platform. Over the following days, they lay colored sands through traditional metal funnels called a chakpur.A closing ceremony will be held on Thursday, March 9 at 12 p.m. Traditionally, sand mandalas are destroyed shortly after completion. This is done as a metaphor for the impermanence of life. The sands are swept up and placed in an urn. To fulfill the function of healing, half is distributed to the audience while the remainder is carried to a nearby body of water to be scattered. The waters then carry the healing blessing to the ocean; from there it spreads throughout the world for planetary healing. Community members may observe the monks during their creation. Observation hours are Sunday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.