DatesStart Date: 01-12-2019 End Date: 10-12-2019
Nagaland is one of the most unique states of India with its amazing festivals and culture which are very unique and capture the essence of the particular states of the north-east India. One such festival is the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland. The festival is for the tribes of Nagaland and incorporate all their individual festivals to make one big festival for all of them. That is why, the Hornbill Festival is also known as the festival of festivals. The festival allows the tribes of Nagaland to exchange their culture and share a common festival to connect to one another. The festival is held in the first week of December on annual basis. The tribes get to engage in multiple activities like traditional dances, music, beauty pageant, etc.
The state of Nagaland is known for being a home to many tribes. Most of these tribes are worshippers of agriculture and depend on the nature quite a lot. These tribes hence engage in a lot of agricultural activities and hence, most of the festivals are to show gratitude and gratefulness towards the nature and agriculture. Many of these tribes have their own festivals revolving around the worshiping of agriculture. This makes the festivals sacred. The Government of Nagaland in the year 2000 organized the first ever Hornbill Festival to promote tribal interactions and giving a platform to the tribes of Nagaland to come together and share and promote their cultures. This festival is termed after the bird Indian Hornbill for it is seen in most of the tribal folklore, in forms of art, dance and music.
The festival is celebrated in Kohima in the month of December. It is usually celebrated in between the days of 1st to 10th December. The festival is organized by the Nagaland Government, specifically by the State Tourism and Art and Culture Departments in a hope to promote inter-tribal communication and display the diversity of the state. It is also an attempt to revive the traditions of the state which are long forgotten and lost in the development and excessive progress. This is one festival which allows the diverse tries to connect to one another and share their culture through art, dance and music. The festival takes elements from multiple tribes that are common and unique to all and mix them into one festival. If you truly want to experience Nagaland in its true and authentic format, then you must visit this festival and experience what all it has to offer to the audience as well as the people of Nagaland.
The festival includes the tribes like the Chakhesang, Kukis, Kacharis, Angamis, Konyaks, Aos, Sumis, changs, and the Lothas. All these tribes have their individual festivals which revolve around agriculture and the worshiping of nature. However, at the same time the festival of festivals, that is the Hornbill festival focuses on diversity more than agriculture. The festival does incorporate the element of worshiping the agriculture and nature, but it is highlighted by the talents and multicultural show.
The festival is celebrated more or less like a fair. People from various places come to Kohima and interact with one another. There are dances performed by the various tribes along with showcasing their talents in singing. Most of the festival focuses on the showcase of the individual cultural elements of various tribes to make it a platform for engaging with each other’s culture through dance and music. There is a symphony of music and many younger kids now are mixing and creating fusion in terms of music and dance. This allows the cultures of the tribes to create a hybrid. There are many games held which allow the tribes to interact with one another. The games allow the tourists to also participate and interact with the indigenous people of Nagaland. There are stalls set up by the tribal people to showcase their artefacts and this gives them a platform to sell their products and reach the market. If you want to experience authenticity at its best, then you must visit the hornbill festival to see the festival and the performances organized by the people. Shop ‘til you drop and eat till you feel your tummy will burst open. The festival also allows the tribes of Nagaland to see the light and be recognized by the people. This will affect the economy of Nagaland positively. There are exhibitions, sales of traditional and authentic artefacts, medicines, foods, sculptures, paintings, etc. There are also beauty pageants held along with showcase of archery, dances, wrestling, etc. There is language diversity as well and this might make it a little difficult for you to communicate with the tribes.
You can reach Nagaland by air, bus and train. The city of Kohima is well connected; however, train is the best way to reach Kohima. The region is extremely cold in the months of December, so it is best if you carry extra clothes along with you. Stay warm by wearing woolen clothes. There are hotels and hostels available as accommodation for you.
Indulge in the food of Nagaland. Use this time to enjoy the night markets of Nagaland which have a variety of things to offer. It is the modern side of Nagaland and is a little different from the vibrant days. At the same time, use this festival to know more about the tribes of Nagaland since they are misrepresented by the mainstream media. This festival allows you to interact with them and set proper judgements about them. Along with this, visit the beautiful scenic mountains of Nagaland. You can also learn the dances and the art forms from the people itself since the place is a hub of diversity on the days of the festival and the tribes are more than willing to share their culture.
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