Mustang Tiji Festival is an annual celebration that takes place at the beginning of every harvest season in Upper Mustang. The Tiji word came from the Tibetan word Ten Che and it means “the hope of Buddhism prevailing in the world for love and consensus.” And the theme of the celebration is the victory of God over the demons.
As the legend related to the Tiji festival, A brave boy called Dorje Jono fights to oppose his demonic father. His father was creating devastation in the Upper Mustang by creating the water crisis. In the end, Dorje Jono wins the fight against his father and chased his father away from the barren land of Mustang. Since then this carnival celebrates in the Lomanthang Mustang.
Upcoming Date of Mustang Tiji Festival in Lomanthang.
- 2023 Tiji Festival Date – May 16th, 17th, and 18th
- 2024 Tiji Festival Date – May 5th, 6th, and 7th
- 2025 Tiji Festival Date – May 24th, 25th, and 26th
Tiji festival will celebrate for 3 days in the kingdom of the upper mustang Lomanthang. Each day the monks will perform various dance forms to track down the devil away from the region. And all these dance forms represent different aspects of the celebration and it’s very significant to do accordingly. Otherwise, they believe that this region has to face a catastrophe in that year.
Usually, Tiji Festival in upper mustang celebrates during the summer season between May – June. So the Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trip is one of the best summer treks in Nepal. The summer season is not a good time to do other trekking such as Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Langtang Valley, etc. Do you want to see Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Photos before you plan to visit Mustang for Tiji Festival?
Day-by-day performance of the Mustang Tiji Festival
On the first day of the Tiji Festival
On the first day of the Tiji Festival, there is a dance performance and that is called Tsa Chham. This ceremony begins with the praying ceremony at the Chhode Monastery. Afterward, all the monks gather together with their ceremonial equipment to start the festival. Then a huge Thanka will roll down on the wall of King Palace Square. After all, these ceremony monk performs their traditional dance
On the second day of the Tiji Festival
Like, On the first day, and the second day also, Lama performs their traditional dance; and the second day’s dance form is called Nga Chham. It is all about the birth of Dorje Sannu (The protector of Mustang) and the son of the demon who wants to destroy mustang. And on this day local people will gather there, in their traditional dress, and even the King of the Mustang and other VIP persons gathered there, in their traditional attire. This will add extra beauty to the Mustang Tiji Festival
On the third day of the Tiji Festival
Again the Monk dance performance continues and it is all about the destruction of the demons and reinstating the region to the Lord Buddha from the devil’s hand. Today there will be a Dummy of the devil and monks will take that Dummy in a direction to destroy by fire. During this final ceremony, so many people from the whole Mustang region will gather. And the VIPs of Mustang will take part to see that last day’s performance.
Require permits for the Tiji Festival Trip to Lomanthang.
Upper Mustang Trek is one of the restricted trekking routes in Nepal. And Tiji festival will celebrate in Upper Mustang; therefore you need to purchase a special permit and normal ACAP. (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit)
The special permit will cost per person USD 500 and it’s just for 10 days only. After 10 days need to add USD 50 per day per person. On the other hand, a normal Annapurna Conservation Area Permit will cost USD 30 for unlimited days. But you need to mention how many days and which trek you want to do.
To do Tiji Festival Trek, a license-holder trekking guide is mandatory and requires a minimum of two persons to issue the special trekking permit. And the special permit is only issued by registered trekking companies. So that you have to choose the organized trekking style, not the individual.
Obtain the Upper Mustang Trek permit, essential to have the original passport. With the details of the Nepal visa such as the visa issue date, arrival date, and expiration date. And require to apply for permits online. The same documents are required for the normal ACAP permit and two passport-size photos.
Tiji Festival Trek Itinerary
Day 1 Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2810M)
Day 2 Kagbeni to Chaile (3050M)
Day 3 Chaile to Syangbochen (3850M)
Day 4 Syangbochen to Tsarang (3560M)
Day 5 Tsarang to Lomanthang (3810M) and observe day 1 of the Tiji Festival
Day 6 Observe the second day of the Tiji Festival
Day 7 Observe the third day of the Tiji Festival
Day 9 Lomanthang to Dhakmar (3820M)
Day 10 Dhakmar to Syangbochen
Day 11 Samar to Chhusang (2980M)via Chunsi Cave
Day 12 Chhusang to Jomsom (2720M)
Day 13 Fly or Drive back to Pokhara (850M)
Also, this trip can do by Jeep or Bike, Jeep and Bike trip will be shorter than a normal walking trip. For the details jeep or bike trip, you can click here. If you have more days and want to explore more parts of Upper Mustang you can add Yara, Ghara, and Tangbe.
Things to do while staying in during Tiji Fesitval Lomanthang
Lomanthang is the kingdom of the upper mustang and while staying here you can do a lot of things. Because from here you can explore many places as well as inside the walled city too. Normally people will spend two nights here but I suggest to stay more one more night to explore more beautiful places nearby. This place is become a bit commercial because of the road connection with Pokhara and Kathmandu. Staying one more night here means you can explore the more remote village nearby Lomanthang.
Explore the ancient monasteries
Inside the Lomanthang there are three major monasteries located and those are very ancient too. However, nowadays renovations are going on in one of the monasteries. Visiting those aged Buddhist Shirin will give you the value and importance of the Buddhist religion in Mustang. Also, these monasteries are proof of the history of the Upper Mustang.
The first one is the Dragkar Thegchen Ling Gompa and this is the one where you have to buy an entry ticket to the monasteries. The first ancient monastery is Chode Gompa and the second one to visit is Jampa Monastery. And then they might last one is the Thupchen Monastery. It’s believed that these monasteries are built between the 13th to 14th centuries.
Visit Chhoser Village and China border
Most of the trekkers who do the Upper Mustang Trek will observe the Chhoser Village. In the Chooser village, there are many fascinating things to see such as ancient caves, stupas, cave monasteries, and the lifestyle of the local people.
Generally, trekkers don’t go to the China border but I recommend you to visit there too. Because you can see the reality between Nepal and China border. Normally, the Tiji festival celebration will take part after lunch so that before lunch you can visit these places. But explore these places before lunch you have to travel by Jeep.
Buy souvenirs for your friends and family
While you waiting to start the festival and have nothing to do then you can do shopping there. Because many street shops will sell special mustang items that are mostly souvenirs. Such as bracelets, necklaces, and other jewelry for men and women.
Also, you can buy the Thank painting, Thank is a Buddhistic symbolic painting where various types of paintings can find. Thanks are mostly dedicated to the Buddhist God and goddess and Mandala. Mandala Painting is the formula of the meditation discovered by the great Dalai Lama.
The Tibetan costumes are also available to purchase and those clothes are pure and original versions. The markets like Kathmandu and Pokhara are copied ones and modern styles. In Mustang clothes are made from sheep wool, and yak wool, and are mostly handmade.
Walk around the village and drink coffee
Lomanthang is quite an impressive and walled village. Most of the residents are inside the wall so walking inside the village stands an opportunity to observe the lifestyle of the local people. And nowadays there are good coffee shops where you can drink a cup of good coffee and eat some bakery items.
While walking you can talk with the people sitting nearby the Royal Palace and understand their culture and tradition. And taking some good-quality portrait photos of the local people. My request is that before taking the photo please ask them, can I take your photo?
In the end,
Tiji Festival is one of the oldest celebrations takes place in the upper part of the Mustang. Each year it will commemorate for three days at the Lomanthang. During this festival, thousands of local people and hundreds of foreigners will be in Lomanthang. The main purpose of the celebration of this festival is the clear all the bad and bring peace and prosperity to the whole region. As it will take place just before the harvest season of the entire upper mustang region.