Hornbill Festival: Uniting Nagaland’s Diversity in Celebration

Hornbill festival
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The Hornbill is a festival celebrated every year in the Northeastern state of Nagaland from 1 to 10 December. The Nagaland state is home to various ethnic group which have their own distinct festivals. This Hornbill Festival represents all the ethnic groups of Nagaland and thus it is also called the festival of festivals.

More than 60 per cent of the Nagaland population rely on agriculture and their festivals also revolve around agriculture. To help people from different groups meet and learn about each other, the Nagaland Government holds the Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December. They first started this festival in December 2000. The festival is named after a colorful bird called the Indian Hornbill, which appears in the stories of many of the state’s different groups of people.

Hornbill festival
Image via https://english.mathrubhumi.com/

This festival is celebrated in the Kisama heritage village which is located in the Southern Angami region of Kohima district. The festival unites all the tribes of Nagaland and aims to protect their rich culture. The festival has lots of cool things to see and do. one can check out the traditional Naga Morungs display and buy arts and crafts. There are also food stalls, places selling herbal medicine, and flower shows. People perform cultural songs and dances, and there are fashion shows and a Miss Nagaland beauty contest. Moreover, traditional archery, Naga wrestling, and local games are also being played. They also have music concerts with different types of music.

The Hornbill Festival is a mix of dances, shows, crafts, parades, games, and ceremonies. It helps people understand the culture of different groups and reminds everyone about the speciality of Nagaland in India. People from faraway villages come to meet others they’ve never seen before and learn about their ways, making everyone more connected.

Hornbill festival
Image via https://thetravelshots.com/

One can also see the traditional paintings and sculptures made by Naga artists. There are Naga groups singing songs, doing traditional dances, and playing games. At night, they have concerts with different kinds of music to keep the celebration going. One big part of the festival is the Hornbill International Rock Festival at Indira Gandhi Stadium, where local and international rock bands perform.

The Hornbill Festival has not only helped the state’s economy but has also boosted tourism. By celebrating the festival, Nagaland preserves its unique heritage and also welcomes people from around the world to experience the mix of tradition and modernity. It’s a chance for tourists  to know the rich cultural and historical background of the state.

Pankaj Luitel is a graduate from Manipur University and loves reading and writing. At MountainEcho, Pankaj contributes to the content team efforts and regularly writes for our website

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