Yartung festival - A festival in Manang and Mustang, Nepal

The Yartung Festival is celebrated all over Manang and Mustang. Especially celebrated in Muktinath during August full moon day every year. It is a three-day celebration and is celebrated with horse races, drinking, and dancing by local Thakali people.

During the three days celebration, we have the King´s (local king) activities taking place on the first, the lamas and monks on the second and the local people´s on the third. The most attractive occasion of this festival is the horse race contest by man and woman. In their language, Yartung means the end of summer; Mela means festival or fair; Yartung Mela means a festival to send off summer.

So, they celebrate this festival with enthusiasm, appreciating the good lives the summer has brought to them. By that time, they have finished harvesting the crops and they have stored the cereal at home. In fact, this festival is for making offerings to Bodhisattvas and to receive the blessings from the village chief as well as from respectable senior citizens for an auspicious journey.

Their senior respectable priest, called Lama, sets the day for celebrating Yartung Mela, finding the most auspicious day in their calendar and keeping in mind the view of the completion of harvesting crops. Usually, their priest chooses the full moon day called Janai Purnima for celebrating this festival. We can see the deep combination of Buddhism and Hinduism here.

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