Tiji Festival: This is What The Mysterious Hidden Behind
Tiji festival trek

Traveling is a better way to explore the culture, tradition, and way of life. Nepal is not only a country in the Himalayas but also a nation where you can learn about lifestyles, traditions, and festivals. The culture and tradition of Nepalis in the high Himalayas are pretty similar to that of Tibet. Tiji festival, celebrated in the upper Mustang of Nepal, is one of the most famous festivals in the Himalayas of Nepal. Lo-man thang is a forbidden kingdom, now a rural municipality in the Mustang district.

The Tiji festival is generally celebrated in May or June. King Samduk Rabden started the Tiji Festival in the 17th century. To commemorate the triumph of Dorje Sonnu – a monstrous being that ravaged human flesh. The monks offer prayers for world peace and also for overcoming any obstacles in the future. This festival is three days of annual events in Lo-man thang, Upper Mustang.

Tiji festival -mustang
Tiji ceremony at Choede monastery

Tiji Festivals: A Three Days of an Annual Festival

Man Tam Ru marked the festival’s first day to represent the harassment done through the dance called Tsa Chham. Draped in their traditional attire, the monks from the Chhoedde monastery perform this unique dance.

Similarly, on the 2nd day of the festival, Lamas performs a dance called Nga Chham, portraying the birth of Dorje Sonnu as the son of a demon.

The traditional dance on the 3rd day of the celebrations represents an effort to reinstate the country to Lord Buddha from the devil’s hand.

The monks chant prayers and perform almost 50 separate religious dances to chase demons from Lo-manthang during the Tiji festivals. They follow the masked devil, swinging wooden swords widely toward the terrified spectators.

Tiji festival trek
The Tiji dance, during the Tiji festival.

The monks use an ancient musket to fire an arrow at the red devil made of tiger skin. More than five demons are cast out into the sand to signify the city’s deliverance from demons.

The unrolling of the Thanka and mask dances are standard cultural practices in the Nepal Himalayas and Tibet. Tiji Festival Trek dates for 2024 will held in Lo-manthang from May 5 to May 7 this year.

Also Read: What Everyone Ought To Know All About Tiji Festival

Getting to Upper Mustang

Upper Mustang is the most popular trekking area in Nepal. It is a restricted area, which means trekkers must take the services of government-authorized trekking companies in the group (minimum size is 2), paying a special permit fee of US$ 500 per person for ten days.

The Tiji festival trek begins from Jomsom, where regular air service is available from Pokhara. Alternatively, you can get a bus to Jomsom from Kathmandu and Pokhara.

The Upper Mustang trek offers a taste of Nepali ethnic culture and spectacular views of snow-capped mountains like Annapurna, Nilgiri, and Dhaulagiri, among many others. The Mustang region was opened to foreigners in 1992 only. Because of the isolated areas that helped maintain a way of life that has remained almost unchanged for centuries.

About Author

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Kumar Lama
Kumar Lama is a founder of Himalayan Exploration Treks Pvt. Ltd. He is leading a team of travel professional offering tailor made travel services across Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.