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Tiji Festival in Mustang

Celebrated in May this year in the 'walled city' of Lo Manthang, Tiji Festival is one of Mustang's most important and colourful events. To chase away demons and mark the beginning of the wet and the end of the dry season, Buddhist monks perform century-old religious ceremonies. It is a time of prayer, chants and dance. Donned with colorful costumes and masks, lamas perform about 50 different religious dances. Visitors and devotees gather from throughout the region to view the spectacle and tourists are always welcome.

Tiji festival is a three-day annual ritual, centred on the Tijji myth, which tells the story of a deity named Dorje Jono who must battle against his demon father to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. The demon father wreaks havoc on Mustang by creating a water shortage which, in this extremely arid land, is the most precious life-sustaining resource. Dorje Jono eventually defeats the demon and banishes him from the land. The story and event of the myth are reenacted during the festival to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Tour operators usually offer special tour packages to visit Tiji Festival in combination with a cultural trek to Upper Mustang, which is considered as one of the last enclaves of traditional Tibetan culture in Nepal. Overseas tourists must obtain a special permit for Upper Mustang, which costs US$ 500 for the first 10 days and thereafter USD$ 50 per additional day.

Source: ght

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