Nagaland is a cultural mosaic of diverse multi-ethnicity sprung up by the several tribes that inhabit the State. Each community celebrates its myriad festivals revolving around the agrarian calender that makes Nagaland by default, a land of festivals. Twelve years on, this intangible heritage asset has been aptly tagged lined in the changed moniker – “NAGALAND HORNBILL FESTIVAL: FESTIVAL OF FESTIVALS” to envcompass through collective celebration the colour and vibrant elements of all the tribal festivities and give a glimpse of Naga life to titillate cultural sensibilities. What has emerged from a local heritage event, metaphored to a national and international festival has now become a must visit and notable attraction in the travel itinerary of both domestic and international travelers.
The Festival is named after the hornbill, the globally respected bird and which is displayed in folklore in most of the state’s tribes.
The week long festival unites one and all in Nagaland and people enjoy the colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are also on display. Festival highlights include Traditional Naga Morungs Exhibition and sale of Arts and Crafts, Food Stalls, Herbal Medicine Stalls, Flower shows and sales, Cultural Medley – songs and dances, Fashion shows, Beauty Contest, Traditional Archery, Naga wrestling, Indigenous Games, and Musical concert.
Organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments, Hornbill Festival showcases a mélange of cultural displays under one roof. This festival usually takes place between the 1st and the 10th of December every year in Kohima.
Hornbill Festival is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in this festival. The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its extravaganza and traditions.
For visitors it means a closer understanding of the people and culture of Nagaland. It must be included in your itinerary, if you are visiting Nagaland during that time to enjoy the food, songs, dances and customs of Nagaland.