Tiji Festival Trek is 3 days event, characterized by the dancing of monks to commemorate the incarnation of Buddha held in Upper Mustang Nepal. Which means “Pray For World Peace” ritual celebrated by the indigenous people of Lo-Manthang. It is a colorful festival celebrated by Tibetan Buddhists once a year during the third week of May with the belief of victory of good over bad or evil.
Traveling to Upper Mustang during the Tji festival for 2020 itself is a big event. If you are ever in the region during the third week of May, It is highly recommended you should include this in your itinerary. In this article, I am very keen to share some facts you wish to know before planning the Tiji Festival Trek for 2020. Overall, this article includes the essential information you may want to know before planning.
Before dive deep into the logistic of the Tiji Festival Trek 2020, I think it is ideal to know the past and the background of the festival. According to ancient history, Dorje Jono, a deity in Vajrayana Buddhism, also known as Dorje Phurba, Vajrakila, or Vajrakumar, fought against his father, who was a devil. The deeds of his father devasted the people by making the scarcity of water and bought fear among them. After knowing the truth about his father, Dorje Jono fought with him and got victory over the devil. From that day, in honor of the legend Dorje Jono, the Tiji festival is celebrated in Mustang.
In addition to the secret honor for the legend, Dorje Jono, the Buddhist priest (Also called Lama), prays for world peace. Making a bucket list to travel Mustang during the Tiji festival is not only to see the culture but also the participation in praying for world peace. If you are one of them, who would like to visit one of the isolated areas of Mustang being an active member to pray for world peace, Tiji Festival trek 2020 event might be just for you.
Tiji Festival Date 2020?
Tiji Festival is one of the promising and lunar festivals. Before, the festival was celebrated at the end of the 12th month of the Tibetan calendar. However, nowadays, it is performed in the 3rd month of the Tibetan calendar. As mention already, it is three days even. For 2020 Tiji Festival date has announced:
19 May 2020: First Day of Tiji Festival
20 May 2020: Second Day of Tiji Festival
21 May 2020: Third day of Tiji Festival
As the festival is celebrated for three days in Mustang, here are the rituals/things performed during the time.
19 May 2020 (1st day of the festival)
On this day, ‘Tsa Chaam,’ the ritual dance is performed by the monks. It is presented in such a way that tells the story of Dorje Jono ( Dorje Jono, who fought the devil for peace and prosperity of the Kingdom). It is also said that Dorje Jono reincarnated as Buddha to battle against the demon. While dancing, the monks show the harassment of the beasts over the people living in Mustang.
20 May 2020 (2nd day of the festival)
On this day, ‘Nga Cham’ dance is performed by the monk. The performance shows the Dorje Jono trying to return the devils to the Buddha world/Kingdom.
21 May 2020 (3rd day of the festival)
On the third day of the Tiji festival, ‘Rha Chham’ dance is performed by the monks. It is the final day of the festival and the performance of monks which shows the victory of Dorje Jono over the demons and banish them from his Kingdom.
Every year the Tiji festival is celebrated with the belief to bring peace and prosperity in the Mustang. Before the event starts, Tsowo, who is the leading dancer, completes a three-month retreat. All the people and the Royal family of Mustang of seven provinces, called Lo Chhodun, participate in the rituals. The meditation practice is also done based on Tantra related to Vajra Kila.
In the meditation build-up, two kinds of activities are there. One is a peaceful dance, and the other is the Mele or second stage of the dance. With two main events, there are three stages of the dance. The first stage has 15 steps, and the other two phases, which are the main parts ‘generation of celestial palace’ and ‘ generation of deities.’ Therefore all the performance in Tiji Festival is related to show the victory of good over bad.
What are the permits required to attend the festival of Tiji?
It is crucial to have the Mustang Trek permits while going for Mustang Tiji festival Trek that cost:
- Mustang restricted area permits for all nations, including Indian people: US$ 500 per person for the 10 days and USD 50 per additional day.
- ACAP Permit (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) US$ 27/ NPR 3000
- For SAARC Nation the ACAP permit cost NPR 1,000 and TIMS card NPR 200
- ACAP entry fee for a local tourist (Nepalese) NPR 100
However, at the time of the Tiji festival, you need to have extra permits for 2 more days, which costs USD 50 per day. If you think Upper Mustang Tiji Festival Trek is more expensive than other Trek, you can have a look at 10 things about Upper Mustang trek worth spending $ 500 for the permit.
The climate of Mustang during the Festival of Tiji
Tiji festival is celebrated or performed at the end of May or starting of June. For Trekking in Nepal, this time of the year is considered a preferable month. The temperature at daytime is 16 degrees Celcius to 22 degrees Celcius, whereas, at nighttime, it is -6 degree Celcius to -2 degree Celcius.
In May, the people to Nepal from around the world is high. You may face a crowd of people on the route to trek. While on the way to the Tiji Festival trek, along with the festival, you can enjoy the view of mountains and nature as the weather is clear with fantastic visibility in May and June.
Accommodation during Festival of Tiji
Accommodation is not at all issue in Upper Mustang as the area has started tea houses and homestay to spring up lately. People were supposed to bring tents in the past, but now it is no longer an issue due to the high demand from the trekkers.
However, you need to be aware during the festival season. The tea houses could be jam-packed and may not have availability everywhere. In the Tiji Festival, several locals and foreign trekkers would also take part in the festivities. If you do not find the Tea house accommodation, your only option is a homestay. This trip is an enjoyable opportunity if you want to know more about the local people in the area, their lifestyle, and experience their culture firsthand.
Itinerary on Visit Nepal year 2020 for Tiji festival
|13th May 2020||Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara|
|14th May 2020||Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom and Trek to Kagbeni|
|15th May 2020||Trek to Chele from Kagbeni (3,050M)|
|16th May 2020||Trek to Syangboche from Chele (3,800M)|
|17th May 2020||Trek to Dhakmar from Syangboche (3,820M)|
|18th May 2020||Trek to Lo-Manthang from Dhakmar (3,810M) via Ghargumba (3,950M)|
|19th May 2020||First day of Tiji Festival|
|20th May 2020||Second day of Tiji Festival|
|21st May 2020||Third day of Tiji Festival|
|22nd May 2020||Lo Manthang (3,820 m) – Ghami (3,520 m) via Marang La (4,300 m), and Nyi La (3,840 m)|
|23rd May 2020||Trek from Ghami (3,520 m) to Jomsom (2,720 m)
|24th May 2020||Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara|
|25th May 2020||Drive or flight to Kathmandu|
If you want to go for Upper Mustang during different Time than Tiji, you can go through Upper Mustang Trek Itinerary
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