Mustang, Aug. 23: The centuries-old Yartung festival began in Lo Manthang, Mustang, on Monday. Residents of the city celebrate the three-day festival every year.
Yar means monsoon and Tung means winter. The festival Yartung signals the end of monsoon and the start of winter. According to locals, it also means the conclusion of the planting season in upper Mustang.
In the festival, people of Lo Manthang also go to the palace to receive blessings from the king and queen.
A special feature of Yartung is that the inhabitants of Lo Manthang divide themselves into 4 groups and race horses. Chhayumi Bista Gurung, vice-chairman of Lo Manthang Rural Municipality, informed that people also sing songs and perform the Syabro Dance. Groups of men and women dressed in traditional attire also play drums and stage the Ghawa Dance.
On the first day of Yartung, every family in Lo Manthang goes to the house of the elder of the Bista community and give him liquor and scarf. They also seek blessings from him. The second day is known as the women’s Yartung and the third day is the Lama Yartung.