Lo Manthang just celebrated one of the most significant festivals of Upper Mustang “Tiji Festival” which is popular among the local and foreign travelers. It was celebrated from 27th of May to 29th of May 2022 for 3 days.
As per the ancient mythology Tiji Festival was celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil. It is believed that the region of Upper Mustang was in trouble and was destroyed by a demon that spread the diseases and took away water. Dorje Jono fought and defeated that demon and the festival began to celebrate his victory with prayer chants, colorful Thangka and wonderful dances with traditional musical instruments.
At the Lo Manthang Palace, a large-scale thangka exhibition with a picture of a Buddhist mentor, Padmasambhava Rinpoche, was held, and worship began according to religious rites. The two-storey house is of the same height as the thangka, which is taken out of the palace only once a year and made open to the public to worship and observe.
All the residents of Lo Manthang and Loghekar Damodar Kund rural municipalities celebrate the Tiji festival for three days every year. Last two years they only did Pooja (offering) due to Covid-19 virus Outbreak but this year they celebrated in presence of local and foreign travelers. As per the local people Tiji festival is the biggest and most famous festival celebrated by the local communities of Mustang. This year more than 300 foreigners and many local (Nepali) travelers attended the festival. The most iconic person to celebrate the festival was US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry.
Ram Sing Tamang, a guide from Himalayan Mentor, who was guiding a group of travelers from Malaysia, said that there were many tourists visited to Lo Manthang just to observe the festival and it is the most popular travel destination with quite similar landscape, culture and history to Tibet.
Dawa Niru Gurung, a local resident of Lo Manthang said “Tiji festival is celebrated by worshiping and performing various mythological and traditional dances from the first day to the last day. We worship with the hope that there will be no calamities like natural calamities, diseases, epidemics, famines etc. The traditional style of celebration, dances, offering, chanting are the uniqueness of Tiji festival to among the travelers.” Beside that the around 700 year’s old monastery which is bounded by mud-wall, palaces, tradition and culture of local Lowa community ate the major attraction of Lo Manthang. The village of Lo Manthang is a plain land but surrounding by deserted red mountain which looks similar to Utah of the US. The 13th generation king of Mustang began to celebrate the Tiji festival.