SUBJECT : Hornbill Festival is one of the most popular festivals of Nagaland, It is celebrated every year from 1st to 10th December. The Hornbill Festival is indeed the most renowned celebration of Nagas. There is a huge gathering for merrymaking in the form of drinking, eating, singing, and dancing. 

Hornbill Festival 2021

Location :-  Nagaland, Kohima

Time        :- 1st December to 10th December 2021

What is the Hornbill Festival?

The Hornbill Festival is one of the largest celebrations of the indigenous warrior tribes of Nagaland. Naga people have a rich tradition of maintaining their unique heritage and customs. For this reason, people plan their visit and book Nagaland Hornbill Festival tours so that they can experience the uniqueness of this tribe and spent some time with the locals.

Each of the tribes and sub-tribes in the state have their own ways of promoting their culture. In addition to their traditional ceremonial attire which is different for each tribe, there are multi-colored spears, Dao’s with dyed goat's hair. The exotic headgears and ivory armlets are other famous traditional things of Nagas which steal the show. In earlier times, the fighters had to prove their bravery, to wear these.

In spite of the tremendous modernity entering into their lives, the people have preserved their customs and legacy. The state is called the 'Land of Festivals' and people dwelling here have a fondness of celebrating the deeds of their ancient warriors and folk heroes. 

Moreover, the medleys that immortalize love stories, folk tunes, and gospel songs are also cherished. The festival is named after Hornbill, one of the most respected bird species in the state. Interestingly, the importance of the bird is reflected in several tribal cultural expressions, songs, and dances.

Why is Hornbill Festival Celebrated in Nagaland?

Why Hornbill Festival is celebrated is the first thing that comes to the minds of any visitor. Or to better frame it, what is the history behind the colorful Hornbill Festival of Nagaland? As the name suggests, Hornbill is the name of a bird that has been depicted and respected by the Nagas for ages. The folklore and songs sung during the entire festival depict the importance of this bird. 

The feathers of this bird were used to decorate the headgears of the people and warriors of Nagas. Initially, the government tried to persuade people not to hunt these birds and rather preserve them, but all of it went in vain. Due to extensive hunting, this species of bird reached the brink of extinction and that became an eye-opener for Nagas.

In the year 2000, this festival was celebrated for the first time and it included folk songs and dance, traditional games, and some songs of their wars. And today, it's a grand affair where people from around the world come to become a part of it.

Where is the Hornbill festival held?

Precisely, the hornbill festival is celebrated approximately 5 km from Kohima on the festival grounds of the organizers- Kisama Heritage Village. This is a small village of Nagas in the state of Nagaland. Moreover, this is a guarded area, and those who wish to enter have to buy their tickets. The events usually start at 9:30 am every day. 

Hornbill Festival Dates 2021?

Hornbill Festival is celebrated annually during the first week of December, i.e. from 1st December to 10th December. 

Where is the Hornbill festival held?

The Hornbill festival is held at the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama, located around 12 kilometers from the capital of the Nagaland, Kohima. It begins at 9 am every day. You can reach the venue by booking a taxi. Purchase the tickets at the entry gate and pass through the security check. However, make sure you have a valid pass to park the vehicle at the site.

How is the Hornbill festival celebrated?

Hornbill festival, also known locally as the 'Festival of Festivals', is organized by State Tourism and Arts and Culture Department, Government of Nagaland. The fiesta is celebrated to encourage inter-tribal harmony and promote colorful local culture and traditions. The visual retreat further displays the unique customs, rituals and practices as well as preserve the heritage. Tourists are warmly welcomed and are treated well. The celebrations are attended by all the major tribes of Nagaland who present themselves with various arts, folk songs, dances and games. There are numerous displays of handicrafts, handloom, multi-cuisines, local food stalls. While a rich amount of rice beer is always at hand to indulge in.

Evenings are lighted by the thrilling Hornbill National Rock Concert in which bands from all over the country and abroad participate to compete. This is followed by the amazing Night Market in the town. But the most attractive event at the festival is Naga chilly eating competition. Additionally, the pork eating festival which draws a lot of crowd evokes much fanfare and excitement.

Top Things to Do at Hornbill Festival

·      Learn about traditional arts, folk songs & games.

·      Know more about tribal life exploring replicas of tribal huts, wooden carvings and drum instruments beats at end of the day.

·      Binge on delightful gastronomy, the massive amount of food stalls along with rice beer to enjoy.

·      Participate in Naga Chili eating competition recognized as the hottest event festival.

·      You should not miss visiting Morungs as these are the best things about this festival. The best time to visit Morungs is during the morning because that’s the time when performers start getting dressed. You can get some close clicks with them but only after you take their permission.

·      This festival is organized by Nagas but 16 different tribes become a part of this extravagant affair. So, have a conversation with different tribes, it is a great experience- one that you will not forget throughout your life.

·      Enjoy the varied cultural performances throughout the day and become a part of the event.