Yartung Mela

Yartung Mela

To bid farewell to Summer, a celebration with horse races, drinking authentic local wines, singing and dancing is what the local Gurung and Thakali people of Mustang do. And they call this three-day-long celebration, “Yartung Mela”. It is celebrated throughout the Mustang’s territory but is exclusive and special at Lo-Manthang and Muktinath.

Yartung Festival got its name as Yartung means the end of summer and Mela refers to festivals or fairs in the local language. Hence, this festival is all about rejoicing the farewell to Summer and express the gratefulness towards the season for all the decent times.

The Yartung Mela occurs during mid-August or September (in the full moon day) every year. To be more specific, this three-day long celebration coincides with another festival in Nepal known as "Janai Purnima" which is celebrated on the full-moon day almost all over Nepal. And the dates depend upon the solar calendar based on ancient Hindu traditions for these festivals. Likewise, in Mustang, the senior honorable priest, called Lama, sets the day for celebrating Yartung Mela which coincides with that of Janai Purnima.

Among the 3 days, the final day is the main day which occurs on the same day as Janai Purnima. Heretofore, they shall have completed harvesting the crops and have stored the cereal at home. Therefore, this fair is all about making offerings to Lord Buddha and to receive the benedictions from the village chief as well as from reputable senior citizens for a fortunate journey.

Throughout the three days festivity, they have the Local King’s activities taking place on the first, the monks on the second, and the local peoples on the third. Whereas, the enticing happening of this fair is the horse racing competition by both the men and women. This festival can also be celebrated by the foreign and local tourists but after the indigenous have accomplished the rituals.  

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Have a wonderful time ahead!