Safari to “The Festival of Festivals”: Hornbill Festival 2016

Also known as the Festival of Festivals, begun in the year 2000, the Hornbill fiesta celebrates & revives the warrior tribes of Nagaland, a myriad of tribal folk & cultural extravaganzas, encouraging inter-tribal relations & heritage of Nagaland & the neighbouring states. The festival spirit is enlivened by the music, the dances, the traditional ceremonial attire & elaborate set ups, the art & crafts displays etc. inspired by the widely revered Hornbill bird, in the traditional Naga culture & Folklore revolving around the agricultural traditions of the tribes, an unforgettable experience laden with folk culture, food, sports & so much more…

Hornbill Festival 2016

With all the travel destinations & adventures in mind, what can be better than a whole world of experiences & things to explore in this beautiful land – also known as the “Switzerland of North-East”. Each year it only gets better & better – with not just the beauty of Tribal culture, but also the enriching experience of meeting people from all over the world gathered here, to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience like never before.
While the Tribes’ cultures gave been inaccessible to visitors for many years, this, here, is a chance to immerse in the land of green hills valleys in the most exotic locations, in all its glory & ages of cultural heritage waiting to be explored.

Cultural dance in Hornbill Festival

The date is set this year – the 1st of December up-till the 10th of December, the much awaited event held in the Naga heritage village of Kisama, about 12 kms away from Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. The village permanently created for this very annual fiesta hosts the event, organised by the State Tourism and the Art & Culture Departments of Nagaland – one absolute exploration to check off on your travel wish list unfolding the hues of the Northeast – Paradise unexplored.

Hornbill Festival Nagaland

With so many events under one roof, the major highlights & most popular events from the festival include the Hornbill Rock Concert & International Musical Festival – with musicians from all over the world performing taking up centre-stage & competing for the title, the North East Cultural Day, the Traditional Naga Morungs Exhibition for the traditional & native tribal arts & crafts of the state, Miss Nagaland Contest, Hornbill Master Chef Competition, Hornbill National Dance Competition, the ‘Glocal’ (Glocal) Film Fest, the Vintage World War II Motor Rally & Hornbill Annual Cycle Rally among countless others.

Named after the Indian Hornbill, symbolising colour & opulence, the festival offers a cultural medley of the tribal heritage of the seven sisters to the world – the traditional arts, food festivals, the music & dance performances among others presenting a closer understanding of the people and culture of Nagaland in all its festive spirit, at not just the national level but earning fame & making its mark at the global scene too.

tourist with naga warrior

The festival celebrates agriculture & prosperity, considered scared & symbolises the rich cultural heritage of the Naga tribes – their customs, traditions, cuisine, arts, crafts & folk culture. It marks the preservations of these very age-old customs as we transition with the modernity of the 21st Century. The festival takes place amid the thatched bamboo huts and morung-style structures in the Heritage Village, created with keeping in mind the style & customs of each tribe.

These tribes come together, live through their cultural traditions, inter-mingle & indulge in merrymaking in the form of drinking, eating, singing and dancing, immortalizing their ethos. In this glorious festival the tribal history, culture & populace becomes prominent – an effort by Nagaland State Tourism to unite this very diversity.

Hornbill Festival

By Air: The nearest airport is located in in Dimapur, accessible by a number of major airlines, while the tourists then having to travel to Kohima & further to Kisama by road by a taxi, bus or privately hired vehicle after reaching Dimapur.

By Rail: The major railhead in the state is Dimapur, linked to Guwahati, which is well-connected with major trains from the country.
By Road: The region has good road connectivity throughout – while Kohima is well-linked to Shillong and Guwahati, one can also first proceed to Dimapur and then travel to Kohima & finally Kisama on the National Highway number 39.

folk dancers in hornbill festival

Plan your trip to this vibrant & unique festival, in the land of the unexplored, for this experience to leave you gasping for more. Whether you choose to embark on a solo journey or a group, quite the self-explorer & guide or opting for a tour like travel establishments like Shikhar travels offer, whichever your choice, the Hornbill festival Nagaland is bound to leave you awe-struck with its enriching experiences in this beautiful state & its tribal culture & heritage to relish in. Have a happy travel!!!

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