The inhabitants of Nepal are known to celebrate many different festivals throughout the year. This is due to the rich ethnic diversity that exists in this small yet largely diverse Himalayan nation. These festivals perfectly reflect the true essence of Nepalese culture and lifestyle. Thus, Himalayan Trekkers always tries to incorporate festive elements of different regions at different times in numerous tour packages available.
One such special travel experience is the festive tour of well-renowned Upper Mustang during the annual Tiji Festival. Moreover, this was recently experienced by the Himalayan Trekkers family along with foreign guests (travelers).
The trip started with a scenic flight to Pokhara, then to Jomsom, finally followed by an even more mesmerizingly scenic drive to the destination. We (Himalayan Trekkers Family) arrived on the very first day of the sacred Tiji festival.
The three days Tiji festival is practiced with a belief that it chases the demons away. Various performances by monks and local dancers signify a celebration of the victory of good against evil. During the cultural performance, they can be seen wearing bright colored attires which beautifully contrast the aesthetic palette of the desert-like landscape of Upper Mustang. Prayer chants can be heard throughout. The overall participation in the festival ends up being vibrant, spiritual, and memorably unique.
Here is a very brief day-to-day description of each day of the Tiji festival:
On the 1st day of the festival, we observed the welcome dance (peacock dance) and enjoyed the hospitality of local people.
On the 2nd day, travelers enjoyed the scenic hike to Lo-manthang and surrounding. We also explored local cave, monasteries, stupas, and make interactions with locals too. As a dance and cultural program began at 2 pm, we got to enjoy the delicious lunch. Later, we observed the students and local dancers perform their dance in masks (5 different styles) along with the King of the region.
On the last day of the festival, the used dancing masks are burned and buried as a usual procedure of the festival. We also got to taste the food and drinks from the priest of the monastery after completion of the festival.