Tiji Festival is a three –day ritual celebrated in the parched land of upper Mustang (Lo Manthang). Mustang Tiji festival is well known as “The chasing of the demons” clusters on the Tiji myth consisting of Tibetan rituals that celebrate the myth of a son who had to save the Mustang kingdom from destruction. The festival is indigenous to Lo-Manthang, Upper Mustang. Over the Mustang Tenchi/Tiji Festival, time monks dressed in elaborate costumes and masks perform dances and rituals that are supposed to drive away evil spirits. 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.
The Tenchi festival as a whole celebrates the victory of God over Demon and Good over Evil. During the three days, dance performances by the local monks of Chode monastery take place.
On the 1st Day, the monks perform a dance called ‘Tsa Chaam’. This tells the story of the birth of ‘Dorji Sonam’- a reincarnated Buddha to a demon. This demon harassed the kingdom of Mustang and brought in havoc to the country. You can witness the monks enacting the harassment of the said demon on the people of Mustang.
On the 2nd Day, the monks perform ‘NgaCham’. During this performance, Dorjee Sonam tries to return the demon to the Buddha realm.
On the 3rd and Final Day of the festival, the ‘Rha Chham’ dance takes place. On this ceremony, Dorjee Sonam triumphs over the evil demon and banishes him from Mustang.
The monk who plays the role of Dorjee Sonam does this by throwing an effigy. This effigy made from Tsampa (barley) represents the demon ‘Ma Tam Ru Ta’.
This defeat brings peace and prosperity to the land of Mustang. Every year Tiji festival takes place in the hope of spreading peace throughout the world.
For the Tiji Festival, 2020 will be celebrating 19th May to 21st May 2020. Apart from strolling along with the stunning and exceptional surroundings of Upper Mustang with the magnificent views of the snow-topped peaks, you can partake in this vibrant and lively festival which will be a lifetime experience.