Hornbill Festival 2018

A Melange of Traditions

Hornbill Festival, Pix by Vikramjit Kakati
Zeliang Naga Tribesmen of Nagaland rehearsing their traditional dance during Hornbill Festival
(Photo By Vikramjit Kakati - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikipedia)

 

Nagaland is a land of ethnic diversity with rich culture and history. The tribes celebrate their rituals with full zeal and zest. Hornbill festival confronts the fusion of Naga traditions. It symbolizes a real blend of cultures. It gives a clearer glimpse to their lifestyle and heritage.

The Indian Hornbill bird is a part of most of the state’s myths, traditions and folktales. Hence the name of this fete is Hornbill.

Rich cultural display, toothsome cuisines and amusing ambience is all about the Hornbill festival. To taste the vibrant mores of Nagaland, this festival must be on your next explore list.

 

ABOUT THE HISTORY

The Nagaland state is home to 17 major ethnic groups. Each tribe has its own customs, tradition and celebrate their festivals. This ‘Festival of Festivals’ unites all under one wing. It gives a perfect example of ‘Unity in Diversity’.

Government of Nagaland organizes Hornbill every year since 2000. It promotes cultural medley of the state by vitalizing inter-tribal relations. One of the main goals is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland. It brings about unity & better bonds among people.

 

WHEN

December 1st 2018 –December 10th 2018

This week-long festivity starts from 1st December i.e. the Nagaland Statehood Day. The duration extends, and so it concludes on December 10th.

 

WHERE

Celebrated every year at the Naga Heritage Site, Kisama. It is a small village located 12 Km away from Kohima.

Various hotels are available nearby for a home-like stay. Camping facilities are closer to the venue site for the tourists. They can relish local dishes and beverages living the Naga traditions better.

The celebrations start at 9 am each day hosting a number of cultural performances, games, crafts, fashion, music events, cycling, kids carnival, food courts, film festivals and many other activities attracting diverse visitors from India as well as worldwide.

People enjoy the colourful performances, food fairs, sports etc. Traditional arts like paintings, wood carvings and sculptures are on display. It also hosts kid’s carnival, music & film festivals.

HOW TO REACH

By Train-

The best and cheapest route to enjoy scenic beauty of hills and valleys. Closest station is Dimapur connecting major towns- Guwahati and Kolkata.

By Air-

The nearest airport is in Dimapur. Many taxi services are there from Dimapur for reaching Kohima. It is about two and a half hour ride.

MAIN ATTRACTIONS

  • Various tribes presenting their folk dances, songs and arts.
  • You will love to see regular Morungs of each tribe.
  • The Annual Rock Festival is a significant highlight. Various national & global bands perform at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Kohima.
  • Varied traditional food along with several glasses of finest rice beer is tempting.
  • Greece Bamboo climbing and Fire Making contests draw a lot of crowds.
  • The King Chilli eating which is open for both locals and tourists.
  • Contests like Pork eating evoke excitement among visitors.
  • The amazing night market comes alive in the evening. One can shop for tribal souvenirs here. Different crafts and handiwork prepared by locals are on display.

Hornbill festival gives a closer insight of people of Nagaland, and their lives. It strengthens bonds by celebrating diverse cultures. You must get ready to have this magical experience!

 

Written by Komal Mishra, team MyWanderlust