Nagaland, home to the colourful Naga people, is well-known for its vibrance and passion for the finer things in life. One such display of boisterous fervour is the Hornbill Festival – celebrated with much fanfare in the beginning of December every year. Originally invented by the Government of Nagaland to foster bonding and a sense of fraternity among the various tribes, today, the festival has evolved into a major phenomenon in modern day Nagaland. The vibrant festival get its unique name from the hornbill – a bird respected by the Nagas for its alertness and oppulence. Mentioned in many of the folklores, the hornbill is thus symbolised during the festival in the tribal headgear and other artefacts. The festivities are essentially joined by the 16 indigenous Naga trbies and sub-tribes and is organised at Kisama – the Naga Heritage Villageb (around 12 km from Kohima) – by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments.
You will be enthralled by the merry amalgamation of tradition hand in hand with modernity. There are cultural song and dance programes, fun games as well as the Hornbill music festival and Hornbill National rock contest. Learn the rich tradition of Nagaland through the exquisite paintings, wood carvings and sculptures on display. Visit the quaint Traditional Naga Morungs Exhibition, tempting food stalls stacked with savories or the interesting herbal medicine stalls and the meticulously decorated pretty flower shows.
Thrill-seekers can try out the World War 2 Car rally, Naga chilli eating competition, Hornbill motor rally, traditional archery and Naga wrestling among others. Other interesting events include the Miss Nagaland beauty pagent for all the fashion conscious ladies and the Hornbill literature festival for the “bookworms”. Very recently in 2012, two new events – Hornbill marathon and Hornbill Photography contest – were added to the exciting range of activities. was also included.
If you are still up for some fun after the hectic day, stroll over to the Night bazar located in Kohima town and indulge in a shopping spree while sampling the various delicacies.