In reestablishing the prayer festivals, two important considerations were which prayers should be recited, and where to gather from year to year. The prayers to be recited at the Sakya Monlam were determined by His Holiness Sakya Trizin along with other senior Sakyapa lamas and monks who chose 100,000 recitations of the Samantabhadra prayer as the main recitation. The places to gather are decided in accordance with the advice of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, who said just before entering mahaparinirvana:
Noble sons and daughters, those faithful ones should travel to these four holy places, and recall them in their minds for as long as they live. If one wonders where those four holy places are, they are the place where the Bhagwan Buddha was born; the place where the Bhagwan Buddha was enlightened; the place where the Bhagwan Buddha taught the Dharma; and the holy place where the Bhagwan Buddha entered mahaparinirvana. Bikkshus, after I enter parinirvana, some pilgrims may come to these places to see the stupas and make prostrations. When they come, you should tell them these words.
He also said, "For those who are unable to see the holy face of the actual Buddha, they should go and see these four holy places, and practice the Dharma in these places."
In accordance with this, Lumbini, Nepal, the site of the Buddha’s birth, was chosen for the time being as the gathering place. At this sacred site, monks, nuns, and lay people from all countries gather in a huge convocation. The arrangements for this great gathering are managed by the Monlam Committee.
The first Sakya Monlam outside of Tibet took place in Lumbini from March 1 – 15, 1993, and was organized by the Tsar temple, Jamchen Lhakang (Great Maitreya Shrine). His Holiness Sakya Trizin, His Eminence Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, and His Eminence Gyana Vajra Rinpoche presided, and in attendance were His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche, the Shabdrung Rinpoches, Gonkar Dorje Tenpa, and over a thousand lamas, tulkus, monks, and nuns.
For three days prior to the main ceremonies, the entire assembly practiced White Tara with Six Rays of Light and then made an elaborate long-life request to His Holiness Sakya Trizin. During the long-life request, His Eminence Ratna Vajra Rinpoche gave a detailed explanation of the mandala offering, the clarity and precision of which were widely acclaimed. The minister of religious affairs from the Tibetan Government in Exile joined in requesting His Holiness’ long life.
On the first day of the main ceremonies, His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche introduced the Venerable Tarthang Tulku, who delighted the assembly with an arousing speech. Following the preliminaries, the main ceremony began. Each day the assembly chanted prayers to the lineage of Indian and Tibetan masters, the Sixteen Arhat Ritual, the Manjushri Namasamgita, and especially Samantabhadra’s Aspiration to Noble Deeds. During the recitations, many people came to request additional prayers, or to make offerings. All offerings were recorded and announced each afternoon, and then allocated to worthwhile causes. Students from the three major Sakya colleges spent time between chanting sessions practicing debate in the traditional style. Concluding each day, the assembly chanted the Door of Happiness, a prayer for the happiness of all living beings.
Read more at :http://www.hhthesakyatrizin.org/teach_monlam.html