Tiji festival is celebrated by the people of Upper Mustang. Upper Mustang, also known as Lo Manthang is Nepal’s hidden beauty and only forbidden Kingdom of Nepal. Lo Manthang was the kingdom of Lo. Centuries before, Lo Manthang acted as the autonomous region of Nepal. However, the shah king of Nepal forged it into Nepal. It became dependency under the Kingdom of Nepal but ruled by their own hereditary. Still, few years before, it used to be ruled by hereditary ruler of this region. But after the death of former king, this region is the part of democratic Nepal. Though it is in Nepal, it has its own religion, own language, culture and traditions. This region is protected by Nepal government and requires special permit and liaison for foreigners visiting this region so that the influence of foreign lifestyle don’t harm the local culture and traditions.
Tiji Festival is one of the best time to visit Lo Manthang.
The Tiji festival is celebrated in Nepal by the people of Upper mustang region. It usually falls in the month of May. The Tiji festival lasts for three days. The celebration is done by the monks of Lo Manthang. The monks perform ritual dances and practices during the celebration. This Tiji festival is celebrated in 3 days. The name ‘Tiji” stands for ‘Tempa Chirim’ and also known as Tenji. The literal translation of Tempa Chirim is “Prayer for world peace”. This festival is celebrated in the victory of Dorje Jono, who is also considered to be the reincarnation of Lord Buddha, over a demon Man Tam Ru. Man Tam Ru is considered to be a giant creature harassing the people on earth. In the victory of Dorje Jono over his demon father Man Tam Ru, this Tiji festival is celebrated.
The Tiji Festival is organized by ‘Choedhe Monastery’. This monastery was also headed by Buddhist Monk Rinpoche. More than 60 monks from ‘Lo Manthang’, ‘Nhenyul’ and ‘Chhosyer’ stay at this monastery.
How they celebrate Tiji Festival in Upper Mustang, Nepal?
The first day of Tiji Festival, a dance in the harassment of demon Man Tam Ru is performed by monks. This dance is also called ‘Tsa Chham’. The birth of Buddha’s reincarnation ‘Dorje Jono’ is celebrated on the second day, which is also known as ‘Nga Chham’. The third day, the attempt to move the demon to Lord Buddha’s realm is performed. The entire celebration is completed in three days with huge religious importance. It is also believed that, the celebration of this festival protects the mustang region from bad energy and bring peace and prosperity.
The Tiji Festival is believed to be influenced by the Tibetan culture. It is a Lunar festival celebrated in this region. The prayer chants and dances with colorful attire are performed in the celebration of Tiji Festival. Because of its uniqueness and popularity, many people visit Upper Mustang region to participate in this festival.