Time : 1st week of December (Every year)
Venue: Kohima, Nagaland in India.
Celebrated By : All the tribes of Nagaland.
Duratio : 8 days
If you are a person who loves meeting new people and experiencing new things and cultures, the exact festival for you to be present at is the Hornbill Festival of
Nagaland, at Kohima.
The Hornbill festival which was celebrated for the first time from December 1-5, 2000 will be a yearly feature and will be celebrated around the same time.
If you love seeing Tribal architectural styles and home patterns of dissimilar
Naga tribes, the Hornbill festival will have it all for you in one place. As in this Festival, each Tribal
Hoho (the apex body of each tribe)
will build their Morung-the Boys Dormitory where the values of life are imparted. In these dormitories, each tribe tries to depict their original lifestyles to the nearest possible.
Though the original Totem posts and carvings are not available, you get an idea of the original Morungs and traditional houses.A tourist who is an art dilettante will definately find a visual delight in going through the paintings and other art, like wood carvings and sculptures by modern Naga artists.
Persons who take delight in collecting art items will be more than pleased as they will find a plethora of handloom and handicraft items such as, bamboo baskets, wooden plates, wooden spoons, bamboo mugs, cane and bamboo caps, bamboo and wooden carving of human figures and variety of animals, bamboo and wooden smoking pipes,
walking sticks. Any visitor will be impressed with the variety of cultural items performed by the different tribes.
Different Naga Troupes sing different folk songs and perform different types of dances. The multiplicity of musical instruments used by various tribes is simply mind-bobbling and impressive. All participating tribes also play and enact various indigenous games and sports to the throated appreciation of all. In the evenings, musical concerts and other entertainment programs keep the people in a festive mood.
These concerts cater to the needs of all music lovers as it includes gospel, rock, metal, and country, pop, western and what have you. If you are a gourmet and like to sample ethnic food, you can have a good fill as there are many stalls where Naga cuisine is served. Many people from all walks of life participated in the first Hornbill festival. It is expected that with experience and with wider publicity more and more people will participate in the intervening years. The Hornbill festival is organized not only with the collective efforts of all government departments related to Tourism, but it is a joint effort of all important NGOs and local communities of Nagaland.
The state of Nagaland still in favors a tribal culture and here at the Hornbill Festival, in the state capital Kohima, this is celebrated with a series of performances and demonstrations.
The Festival is named after the hornbill, a globally respected bird that shows up in the folklore of most of the state's tribes. This one week long festival unite all of the Nagaland, in one giant colour-splashed hodgepodge of dances, performances, crafts, parades, games, sports, food fairs and religious ceremonies.
The festival both expose the culture and tradition of tribal people and reinforces Nagaland's identity as an unique state in India's federal union.
Traditional arts are also featured, with paintings, wood carvings and sculptures by modern Naga artists on display. Naga troupes sing folk songs, perform traditional dances and play indigenous games and sports. In the evenings programmes of music concerts, catering for all tastes, ensure that the festive spirit continues through the night.
Journey to Kohima
Air : Dimapur (74 km) is nearest airport which is air linked with Calcutta.
Rail : Dimapur also serves as the adjacent railhead, and is connected with some major cities of India.
Road : By road, Kohima is accessed by National Highway 39. Kohima is well linked by this road from Dimapur.
While Nagaland is not a mainstream Indian traveler destination, it offers a variety of accommodations from spare and simple to deluxe.