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A vibrant festival among the eight other north-eastern states in India is the Hornbill Festival. Also locally known as the festival of festivals, the State of Nagaland hosts this auspicious event every year. It is held at the Kisama Heritage Village. It is a spiritually inclined festival in which the various tribes in Nagaland partake in the grand celebration. The Hornbill festival is named after the Hornbill bird. It is a large exotic bird that is yellow and blackbird and holds great importance among the local folklore.

A Look-Through Of The Hornbill Festival

A Look-Through Of The Hornbill Festival

The tribes of Nagaland join hands and celebrate the Hornbill festival. They promptly do so with unity, cheer, and enthusiasm in the first week of December.

The state of Nagaland is highly dependent on agriculture. Hence, agriculture is the predominant and major drive to celebrate the festivals of the state. In the year 2000, the government of Nagaland initiated the inception of this festival. Its sole purposes are to promote inter-tribal relations, the culture, customs, and traditions that encompass Nagaland. 

The first Hornbill festival stretched up to a week. Following, it coincides with the Nagaland Statehood Day that falls on the 1st of December each year. Moreover, after observing the excitement and gleeful faces, the Government of Nagaland extends the celebration for a couple of days more. Since then, the festival is now permanently celebrated from the 1st to the 10th of December every year.

Where Do They Host The Festival

Hornbill Festival Destination

Kisama is a little village sitting splendidly at the base of a gentle slope of a steep mountain in Nagaland. It is a Naga Heritage Village that depicts and revives the habitation, authenticity, and history of the various Naga Tribes. It is a popular venue to host the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland. The traditional huts, stalls, and the Naga Morungs at the village are the top attractions for tourists as it showcases the thriving culture. Morungs are Naga’s meeting place to learn, discuss and celebrate all kinds of events together. 

At the prime event of the Hornbill Festival, the village is vigorously embellished with arrays of Naga arts, crafts, food stalls, and shops.  

Besides the main venue, there are various other spots hosting different Hornbill Festival Specials and events too. Visit those spots to have authentic and fun-fulfilling experiences in the land of the Nagas. 

Who Organizes

Horn Bill Festival

The State Tourism and Art & Culture Department of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill Festival annually. The objective behind celebrating the festival is to unite the tribal people of the state. This is achieved through joyous and vibrant dancing and singing celebrations. The major tribes come together to celebrate the propitious Hornbill festival. These tribes include Ao, Chakhesang, Dimasa, Khiamniungan, Angami, Kuki, Zeliang, Phom, Sangtam, Kachari, Konyak Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Lotha, Yimchungru, Sumi, Chang, Sumi, and Garo tribe. The Hornbill festival is also a form of opportunity for Nagaland craftsmen to display their art to the visitors.

Also, read Descent to the Mystic Abode of Clouds – Shillong! Explore Shillong in Meghalaya, one of the top destinations among the Seven Sisters and the Bother States in the North-East Region in India.

Hornbill Festival 2021

Hornbill Festival 2021

Following a year of unprecedented circumstances and livid experiences due to Covid-19, It was implausible that the organizers could host the Hornbill Festival in 2020. However, with much anticipation and preparation, the year 2021 is set to give a kick-start from 1st to 10th December. The festival will take place as usual at Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland. The event for the day till the end of the festival will usually start at 9:00 am.

Things You Should Try at Hornbill Festival 2021

Things You Should Try at Hornbill Festival 2021

Get the real taste of the festival for a Ten Day long doing the following activities for you: 

  • Various tribes of Nagaland come together to dance, perform and interact with visitors. So, get to know them, chat, and see their elegant performances. 
  • Sway along the folk songs, games, arts, and learn them.
  • Naga gastronomy is widely popular across the country. The unique taste and flavour are entirely different from the rest of the world’s recipe. Hence try those mouth-smacking delicacies from the massive array of food stalls. Actually, try every food displayed on the stalls during the entire festival duration, if a day is not sufficient. Not to miss out on the infamous and opulent Naga Rice Beer. As a fledgling, you will wholeheartedly love it. 
  • Explore the replica of the tribal huts, the Naga musical instrument, their arts and wood-works.
  • Watch or get yourself participate in the Naga Chilli Eating Competition which almost draws most of the visitors’ attention. The Naga ghost pepper is one of the hottest chilli ever. 
  • Encounter the Naga Morungs to get the feel of a real Naga. Consider visiting them during the morning to have a close look at the performers and the performances. 
  • Night-life during the Hornbill Festival is a euphoric event. So, do not miss out the rock bands from around the country and from international performing concerts and shows. You may be lucky to see or meet sensational people unexpectedly.

Also Read:- TOP THINGS TO DO IN NAGALAND IN 2022

Other Things You Can See At The Hornbill Festival

Fun Things To See And Do In the Hornbill Festival

A visitor can see the dotted traditional paradise of ancient caricatures and traditional huts at the Heritage Village. Every Naga tribe displays its unique traditions through the representations of their morungs. Such as the loud beating of the hollowed log with wooden beaters. The Nagas relay messages by beating different tempos and instruments to send out messages. However, they could only be understood by the village members.

The festival features many forms of traditional folk dance, songs, fun games, sports. Likewise, the Traditional Naga Morungs Exhibition displays various talented artists and craftsmen of the state. Also, traditional art includes alluring paintings, stunning sculptures, and intricate carvings by the Naga artists. Additionally, visitors can potentially witness a flower show, cultural medlies, and fashion show. Other main events include beauty contests, food stalls, archery, wrestling games, and music concerts at the Hornbill festival.

Places To Visit Nearby

Kohima, Destination near hoprnbill fest

Explore the destination in the month of December. Henceforth, you should definitely plan It if you want to encounter the most esteemed celebration of all time. There is more to love, apart from the wonderful souvenirs that you will take home. To witness extravagant celebrations during the festival is a magnificent sight that you will cherish your entire life.

Meanwhile, there are places you can take a visit around the venue.

Dzukou Valley: Dzukou Valley is a top attraction and nature’s masterpiece that is 25 km away from Kisama. The rolling meadows with smooth hillocks surrounding the valley are a score to watch. Moreover, this splendid landmark laying on the Manipur and Nagaland border is a popular trekking destination and photographer’s paradise. The sparkling stream, the varieties of flowers, the breeze, and the vistas are breathtaking.

Khonoma Village: Khonoma is a heritage village showcasing the rich history of the early Angamis. The locals today maintain the village into one splendid place to explore and it bags as one of the tidiest places in Nagaland. One can reach Khonoma Village in an hour and a half time and enjoy exploring the unique beauty. It is 27 km from the Hornbill Festival venue.

Kohima: The Capital city of the state Nagaland is an unparalleled destination for anyone. You can visit the state museum, the war cemetery, and the Kohima Cathedral. The city at night is beyond words to deliver its absolute beauty. In fact, the view replicates the fallen sky with its promising sight of satisfaction. Besides, Kohima is the nearest destination to visit which is only about 12 km from Kisama.