Tiji Festival, celebrated annually in the walled city of Lo Manthang is one of the most important and colorful festival in Upper Mustang. This is an old story about chasing the demons from the sacred land of Lo Manthang. The festival marks the end of the dry season in Mustang. Local devotees gather from all over the Mustang. So does foreigners. Centuries old religious ceremonies will be performed by Buddhist Monks. Equipped with colorful costumes, and masks Lama performs several religious dances. This all happens in the courtyard of the King’s palace. The story reflects the war in between deity named Dorje Jono who had battled against his demon father.
Being in the rain shadow of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Massif region receives a very rare rainfall. You can imagine the importance of water in such dry land. Destruction mode was activated on the father of Deity Dorje Jono. He was trying to destroy the kingdom of Upper Mustang by creating a shortage of water. According the myth Dorje Jono defeats all the demons and banishes them from the kingdom. This entire story is demonstrated by several dances and shows. This is a symbolic demonstration of good over evil. Upper mustang was closed until 1992 for foreigners. According to the rumors Michel Peissel was the first western people to witness the celebration of Tiji Festival. It dates back 1964. We are not sure how he got permission to enter the Kaligandaki Valley ahead Kagbeni. According to the historical kingdom was formed during the 14th Century. Entire settlement is fenced with high walls. This is the reason why Lo Manthang is often known as city of wall. According to the local legends entire city is divided into four smaller subunits. Each unit gets their named on the basis of their guardian deities.
Word Tiji is derived from Tenji. According to Tibetan dictionary Tenji mean “praying for world peace”. Dates for the festival are derived on the basis of Tibetan Calendar. Every year. According to the Tibetan Calendar it happens on the third month during 27th to 29th. According to the English calendar festival is held in mid of the fifth month. Dates for Tiji Festival 2016 will be published by shortly. Recent earthquake had left few impacts on Upper Mustang. It is ok to trek entire region depending on teahouse. We will organize private and group joining tour for the 2016 Tiji Festival.
Are you interested to look some photographs from Tiji Festival? We would like to thank Taylor Weidman for superb photography of Tiji Festival. All the images are subject to copyright of Taylor Weidman | Getty Images. Images were published on The Guardian Blog. Check Tiji Festival Image Gallery.
Normally festival is held during month of May. It is based on Tibetan Calendar. May is one of the best trekking season for Upper Mustang. See more details about best time for trekking Upper Mustang.
This will be interesting trekking, are you ready to embark your journey to Upper Mustang?