Tiji Festival is one of the most significant festivals in Nepal. The origins of the festival predate Buddhism and are born out of the animistic and shamanistic Bon tradition. The costumes and sacred dance steps of the Tiji festival have remained the same for over 600 years. Tiji is a dance performed over three days by the monks of Lo Manthang Chhyode Goenpa. Tiji is the abbreviated form of ” Tempa Chhirim” which means ”Prayer for World Peace”, and commemorates the victory of Buddha’s incarnation, Dorji Sonam, over a demon called Ma Tam Ru Ta. The monks undergo months of purification and preparations, don colorful regalia, and enact the events leading to the triumph of good over evil. For the Mustang people in their finest dress, it is a time to gather, and celebrate.
Tiji is celebrated in Lo-Manthang, the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Mustang. Mustang is in the north-central part of Nepal and is at the headwaters of the great Kaligandaki River. It is uniquely isolated and has a truly mystical feel. The desert valley landscape of wind eroded, color-banded cliffs, pinnacles, canyons surrounded by the heights of the snow-shrouded peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himal is fantastically picturesque. Lo-Manthang and the Upper Mustang area are inhabited by Tibetan people who retain the language, culture, and traditions of Tibet. Here amid ancient and isolated villages, amid pretty white-washed houses are some of the oldest Buddhist Monasteries still in use.
Tiji Festival Trek is a walking holiday/lodge trek. We fly first into Jomsom. Our route from Jomsom climbs in and out of the Kaligandaki Valley through the dry terrain. Our destination is Lo- Manthang, which we reach in 9 days. if you wish, we can hire horses to ride, hiring either for the whole tour or for just part. (luggage will be carried the entire time by horses and mules). Jeep transport is also available for parts of the route.
HIMALAYAN VACATION TREKS AND EXPEDITION annually organizes this trek in May so that we may attend the Tiji festival. The dates of Tiji change each year. The date is set by the head Buddhist Lama of the Mustang area according to the Tibetan Calendar. This year, 2020, the festival will fall on 19th MAY 2020 TO 21st MAY 2020.