The Tiji Festival is a Buddhist celebration and religious pilgrimage that takes place every May in Lo Manthang, the walled city located in the remote kingdom of Mustang in northern Nepal. Wilderness Travel experiences this festival on their trip Mustang: Hiking to the “Sky Caves” of an Ancient Kingdom.
The ceremony has been performed in various forms for several centuries and consists of three days of masked dancing, which results in the dhakey or slaying of an evil demon by the deity Dorje Shunu. Initially a religious ceremony to ward off obstacles and suffering, it has also come to symbolize the strength and hope of the people of Lo, and many of them make the annual pilgrimage to witness the spectacle.
—Photos and text by Doug Steakley, Mustang: Hiking to the “Sky Caves” of an Ancient Kingdom.