Tiji Festival is an annual event and a famous festival at Lo-Manthang of Upper Mustang in Nepal. This Festival is celebrated for three days in the Mustang district of Nepal. This festival falls at the end of May according to the local calendar. Tiji is the name of an abbreviated word of Tempa Chhirim which means “Pray for World Peace”..
Tiji Festival celebrated in the Lo Manthang by Tibetan Buddhist people is a colorful festival of the Upper Mustang. Celebrated once a year for three days in the beginning of the harvest season, the festival is believed to be celebrated to dispel the demons.
According to the legend, a deity named Dorjo Jono battled against his father to protect the kingdom of Mustang from devastation. His father was a devil who brought fear amongst the people by bringing scarcity of water in such a desolate region. Dorjo Jono, hence banged his demon father and dispersed him away from Mustang. Honoring this legend, the festival is celebrated to bring peace and prosperity in the region.
There are several reason that attracts traveler to visit Nepal from around the world. Among others, annually celebrated Tiji Festival is a major reason thousands of traveler visit Nepal every year. Colorful Tiji Festival is celebrated in Upper Mustang (Lo Manthang)- an isolated ancient Kingdom beyond the Himalaya bordering with Tibetan side of China. This legendary Tibetan Buddhist festival has been successfully preserve by the locals even in this fast changing modern era. Tiji Festival is celebrated three days every year in the beginning of harvesting season.
History of Tiji Festival
The Tiji festival usually takes place around mid May and lasts for 3 days. The monks of Lo Manthang’s “Choedhe” monastery perform ritual dances during the celebration. The harassment of Ma Tam Ru Ta (in a dance called “Tsa Chham” on the first day), the birth of Dorjee Sonnu as the demon’s son (on the second day called “Nga Chham”) and the attempt to return the demon to Lord Buddha’s realm (on final day the demon to Lord Buddha’s realm) are enacted during the performances.
The Tiji festival dances are all organized by the Choedhe Monastery, which belongs to the Sakya sect of Buddhism. The monastery is headed by a Rimpoche. About 65 monks from Lo Manthang, Nhenyul and Chhosyer reside in this monastery.
How is the Tiji festival celebrated?
In the event of Tiji festival, the main dancer, Tsowa completes a three month of retreat before the main event of the festival. During the main event, the members of Mustang royal family and all the villagers of the seven provinces of Upper Mustang/Lo Chhodun participates to witness this sacred dance, which is done along with many other rituals.
According to the Mustang (Lobo) dialect, it is Tiji or Tenchi, which is the part of the meditation practice based on the Tantra text related to Vajrakumar/Vajrakila. However, the original name of this sacred dance is Tenpa Chirim, which means the benefits of Buddha’s teaching and all sentient beings. It is also believed that the performers of this dance receive empowerment of Vajrakila.
Tiji Festival Date 2022:
Tiji festival is being celebrated on Fri, May 27, 2022 – Sun, May 29, 2022. As this festival is very popular bookings get started before month of the festival, so hurry and contact us before all seats are taken.