Nagaland is a hilly state in the North East of India and is home to several ethnic Naga tribes (Officially 17 recognized Naga tribes). Each tribe have their own distinct dialects, culture, food-habits, costumes and festivals. Nagaland is also known as ‘the land of festivals’ as there is a festival going on for one tribe or the other all throughout the year.
The Hornbill Festival is an annual festival celebrated in the Northeastern Indian state of Nagaland. The Hornbill Festival is a ten day annual tourism promotional event organised by the Nagaland State Government to showcase Nagaland’s rich and traditional cultural heritage and diversity. Conceptualized in the year 2000, the Hornbill Festival was first started from December 2000.
The Hornbill Festival is dubbed as the “Festival of Festivals” as this event provides a unique platform for visitors to witness all the Naga cultural diversity converged at one venue; and it also involves the states of North East India as a means of cultural exchange. Hornbill Festival is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 Km from Kohima where each Naga tribe have their “Morungs” (traditional huts) setup where visitors witness mélange of cultural displays all under one roof – an opportunity to experience the food, songs, dances and customs of Nagaland in a single venue.
The Hornbill Festival also include the traditional Naga Morungs Exhibition, folk dances, folk songs, traditional practices demonstrations, sale of Arts and Crafts, Food Stalls, Flower shows and sales, Fashion shows, Beauty Contest, Naga wrestling, Indigenous Games, and Hornbill International Rock concert. During the festival, Night Carnivals are organized in several places around Kohima and Dimapur where people can enjoy street food, outing with kids, and shop.
Here are some basic facts on the Hornbill Festival:
- Hornbill Festival first started in December 2020.
- Hornbill Festival is organized by the Govt. of Nagaland.
- The festival is named after a bird – the Indian hornbill, which is the large and colourful forest bird which is displayed in the folklore of most of the state’s ethnic groups.
- Hornbill Festival Period: 1 and 10 December, annually
- The main arena for the Hornbill Festival: Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 Km from Kohima where each Naga tribe have their “Morungs” (traditional huts) setup.
- Hornbill International Rock Contest started in 2006 and the last was held in 2018. Hornbill International Rock Contest was discontinued from the year 2019.
- Mini-Hornbill festivals are also held across the state in various districts coinciding with festivals of various tribes.
Event Activities includes:
- 10 days cultural performances by different Naga tribes
- Handlooms & Handicrafts
- Flora and vegetation
- Indigenous games and sports
- Local cuisine / food festival
- Village walks/ treks
- Cultural exchange
- Arts & crafts
- Exhibition cum sale of tourism products
- World War II Rally
- International Loin Loom
- Sport events-International Hornbill Naga Wrestling
- Open contests- Naga King Chilly & Pineapple Eating Competitions
- Hornbill Music Festival – Handshake concerts/ Rock contests/
- Adventure Outdoor activities- Mountain biking/ Dzukou Valley Day Hikes
- Bamboo Carnival/ Night Carnival etc.
Websites for references: