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Upper Mustang Tenji Festival | Lo Manthang

The Tiji festival locally called the Tenchi festival is held every year in Upper Mustang, Lo Manthan. It is a three days festival which only takes annually and the festival dates are based upon the Tibetan calendar.

Furthermore, Tempa Chhirim, Tenji: commonly spoken Teeji or Tiji which means “World peace prayer. Upper Mustang, Nepal is a place highly influenced by Buddhism and it is a sacred area for Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhism as well. According to Dalai Lama “genuine Tibetan culture still persists in exile in a few areas such as Mustang, which has long historical and cultural links with Tibet.

All About Tenji festival

Tenji commemorates the triumph in the Embodiment of Buddha. Dhorje Sonam about a demon named Ma Tam Ru Ta, who was eater man and created storms and droughts to kill the homes and livestock of the people. Therefore, this festival is all about Dhorje Sonam, his reincarnation and the demons.

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Meaning Dance In Tiji Festival

The dances orchestrated by Lomanthang Chhyode Gumba’s priests during this three-day festival depict the abuse of the Ma Tam Ru Ta, the birth of the demon ‘s son Dhorje Sonam, and Dhorje Sonam ‘s effort to restore the demon to the Buddhism.

On the first day of the Tenji, the monks perform a dance called “Tsa Chham,” and on the second day “Nga Chham,” during the winter, one monk has to remain in seclusion for three monks preparing for the position of Dhorje Sonam.

Upper Mustang Tiji Festival  Lo Manthang
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One the third day, a monk in the role of Dhorje Sonam sheds the effigy and Tsamppa representation of Ma Tam Ru Ta at a ceremony called “Rha chham.” During this time the village is thought to be free of evil spirits.

Upper Mustang Tiji Festival  Lo Manthang

Moreover,  Tenji festival falls on the third month of Tibetan calendar from 27th to 29th days (April / May of each year).

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Who Organised Tiji festival

It is organized by Chhyode Gumba, the Sakyapa sect monastery based in Lomanthang, Upper MUSTANG. The abbot monastery is Khempo Tashi Tenjin Rinpochhe and there are approximately 35 others in the monastery from Lomanthang, Nenyol and Chhoser.

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Meanwhile, villagers from all over “Lho Tshu Dhyun”  come to see the dance and to take part in the ensuing festivities, the villagers of Lo also contribute firewood and resources required for the festival to take place.

Reason To Celebrate Tenji Festival

The festival is the celebration in the victory of Buddha incarnation. Dhorji Sonam over a demon called Ma Tam Ru Ta who was assumed to be a kind of like Waxman eater and legends said that this demon also caused the storms and droughts to ruins livelihood and shelter of people.

Related Article: Maghe Sankranti

However, to decrypt all these stories, monks around the Lomanthang and Chhyode Gumba celebrated this festival for three days where they enact the harassment of the demon as well they also enact the birth of Dorji Sonam the demon’s son who attempted to back demon to the Budhha realm.

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Written by Vineet

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