On the day of Janai Purnima, August 10, the settlements of Lower Mustang will wake up to the boisterous festivities of Yartung Mela. And as in previous years, the residents are all set to welcome visitors from near and far to enjoy the scenic beauty of the hidden valley and participate in an age-old ritual.
The yartung fair festival in lower mustang is celebrated all over mustang and is especially celebrated in Muktinath during August full moon day every year. It is a three/four day celebration and is celebrated with horse races, drinking and dancing by local Muktinath and Thakali people. During the Three/four days celebrations, the king;s (local king) activity take 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 women. In their language, yartung means the end of the summer; Meal means festivals or fair; Yarutng meal means a festival to send off summer. So, 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 Bodhisattva and to receive the blessing s form the village chief as well as from respectable senior citizens for an auspicious journey.