Nagaland is a beautiful land where the brave deeds of ancient warriors and heroes are still applauded and celebrated with vibrant dances and songs. The 20-lakh-strong Naga people, by nature, are fun lovers, and life in Nagaland is one long festival. Festivals are celebrated by various tribes either as an offering of prayers to a supreme being for a bountiful harvest or simply to celebrate the grandeur of the various tribal communities.
For encouraging inter-tribal cultural interaction and bringing together the festivals of the various tribes under one umbrella, the Government of Nagaland has evolved a festival called the Hornbill festival, where one can see a melange of Naga cultural displays at one place. Organised by the State Directorate of Tourism every year between December 1 and 5 in Kohima since 2000
The Hornbill Festival takes place at Kisama Heritage Village, around 10 kilometers from Kohima (the capital of Nagaland).
The Hornbill Festival is attended by all of Nagarland’s major tribes. It features traditional arts, dances, folk songs, and games. All this takes place amidst immaculate replicas of tribal hutments, complete with wood carvings and hollow log drum instruments, which are beat in haunting symphony at the end of the day. There are plenty of handicraft stalls, food stalls, and heady rice beer to indulge in as well.
In the evenings after sundown, the main attraction is the Hornbill National Rock Concert. Bands from all over the country come to compete. This is followed by a night market in town.
Great from: Kohima doesn’t have an airport. The nearest one is in Dimapur, with flights to and from Kolkata and Guwahati. From Dimapur it’s a two hour drive to Kohima. Or, if you’re in a hurry, a 30 minute helicopter ride
Great For: Sometimes referred to as the `Switzerland of the East’, Nagaland represents unimaginable beauty, moulded perfectly for a breathtaking experience. For the adventurous, the State is an ideal place for trekking and jungle camping and offers limitless possibilities for exploring its lush sub-tropical rainforests, which are a treasure trove of medicinal plant. Festivals are celebrated by the various tribes year around; during festivals villages become most lively.
Best time to Visit: The Hornbill Festival is held every year from December 1-5.