Everything you need to know about Nagaland Hornbill Festival 2019


India is a land of colorful and appealing festivals. Since tribes hold major importance in the history and population of the country, tribal festivals are entitled to the due importance. One such tribal festival is Nagaland Hornbill Festival, which is celebrated with great pomp and show on an international level. This festival also contributes significantly to the tourism of the state since tourists from all over the world visit Nagaland to attend the festival and take joy in knowing the magnificent architecture, rich cultural heritage, and its ethnic cuisine.

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What is the Hornbill Festival?

Mostly identified as “Festival of Festivals”, Nagaland Hornbill Festival is the glorious event organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Department, Government of Nagaland. The festival represents the Naga culture through traditional music and dance performances. All the 17 tribes of Nagaland come together to make this event a successful affair.

Why is the Hornbill Festival celebrated? 

Named after the Indian Hornbill, one of the most venerated bird species in the state, this festival is highly important for the people of the North East. The bird is also equally important as it is considered as a symbol of respect and folklore by the natives and it can be seen in a no. of tribal culture expressions, including music and dance performances. Since almost 85% population of the state depends upon agriculture for their living, most of their festivals also revolve around the same and the Hornbill Festival is no different as according to the natives of the state, agriculture is sacred. The tribes of Nagaland are completely devoted to their culture and therefore, they find it really necessary to celebrate the festival along with performing all their ancient traditions. Initiated by the Government of Nagaland in 2000, the festival is held regularly to boost the inter-tribal interaction and also to promote the cultural heritage of the region.

When and Where is the Hornbill Festival celebrated?


Celebrated on an annual basis, this festival is observed in the Northeastern state of Nagaland, which is also known by the name of theLand of Festivals”. The celebrations of the festival commence from 1st December and culminate on 10th December every year. The festivities take place in the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, situated around 12 km away from the capital city Kohima. The festival begins at 9 a.m. every day.

How is the Hornbill Festival celebrated?

The 10-day long festival unites all the tribes of Nagaland, each of which presents their performances in a beautiful manner. The festival starts with an invocation to the religious deity through a tribal dance and is followed by the inauguration of certain textile and handloom stalls, competitions like pony-cart and horse-riding. During the celebrations of this famous festival, one can delve into the diversified gastronomy, handicrafts, songs, dances, and traditional customs. Various dance performances, fashion shows, local games, traditional archery, Naga wrestling, flower shows, beauty competitions, etc. are held during the festival. The most notable ones are the Traditional Naga Morungs Exhibition, sale of Art & Crafts, chili eating competition, herbal medicine stalls, and Miss Nagaland beauty contest. The enchanting Hornbill International Rock Festival, held at the Indira Gandhi Stadium turns on the evening as the brands from all over the country and abroad come to compete in this competition. Following this, fascinating Night Market is set up in the town. In addition to this, pork eating competition is also popular due to being flocked by a lot of people. The event also comprises of food fairs where one can savor the traditional Naga food which is really sumptuous.

What are the tips to be followed during the Hornbill Festival?

  • Don’t forget to purchase the entry tickets at the gate and clear the security check. Passes are to be bought individually for the everyday event.
  • Foreign tourists are required to register themselves with the Foreigner’s Registration Office within 24 hours of their arrival into the state.
  • Since the festival is widely popular, it receives a lot of tourists. Therefore, it is advisable to make all the reservations in advance to make the most of the festival.
  • Tourists can try bargaining at several souvenir shops and stalls to get the products at the best price.
  • A schedule handbook for the festival can be bought from the entry area. It will also enable you to explore the other tourist attractions of Nagaland.
Where to stay during the Hornbill Festival?

Engage yourself in the Hornbill Festival while taking pleasure in the comforts of the best hotels in Nagaland. There are multiple options for accommodation in Nagaland such as luxurious hotels, budget hotels, etc.

How to reach the Hornbill Festival?
  • By Air: The nearest airport to reach Kohima is the Dimapur Airport, located at a distance of 74 km. Since Dimapur Airport does not operate internationally, foreigners will have to commute via Kolkata or Delhi Airport. A taxi can be hired from Dimapur Airport to reach the Hornbill Festival.
  • By Train: Similarly, Kohima does not have its own railway station due to its tough hilly location. The nearest railway station is in Dimapur, which shares connectivity with Guwahati and Kolkata.
  • By Road: NH39 is a major highway connecting the major Northeastern states. Kohima is also accessible via Guwahati and Shillong.

Turn up at the Nagaland Hornbill Festival 2019 to observe the well-preserved customs and legacy of Nagaland and make good use of your vacations!

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