What’s so unique about Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival, that it attracts tourist from all over the world

hornbill festival

Hornbill Festival is one of the most cherished and much awaited festivals of North East India. The festival is celebrated in Nagaland by its locals. It gained its name after Hornbill, one of the most recognized bird species in the state. Nagaland is still much dependent on the agriculture and the Hornbill festival reflects the beautiful tribal culture, songs and dances of Nagaland. Hornbill Festival is also celebrated as the Nagaland Formation Day.

Here are the facts one must know about this unique and beautiful festival which attracts a lot of tourists to Nagaland.

When the Hornbill Festival is celebrated?

Generally Hornbill Festival is celebrated annually during the first week of December, i.e. from December 1-7, which normally concludes by December 10.

How the Hornbill festival is celebrated?

Hornbill festival is organized by the State Tourism and Arts and Culture Department, Government of Nagaland to encourage inter-tribal harmony and promote colourful local culture and traditions, display its unique customs, rituals and practices as well as to preserve its heritage. The festival is attended by all the major tribes of Nagaland.

The festival embodies various arts, folk songs, dances and games of those tribes. It also displays numerous handicrafts, handloom, multi-cuisine and local food. Evenings of the festival are often decorated by the thrilling Hornbill National Rock Concert in which bands from all over the country and abroad participate to compete. But the most exciting event of the festival is Naga chilly eating competition and pork eating competition that draws a lot of crowd.

hornbill festival

Where the Hornbill festival is held?

The festival is held at the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama. The village is located around 12 kilometers from the capital of the Nagaland, Kohima. The festival begins 9 am each day.

How to reach Kohima, Nagaland

Important cities like Guwahati and Shillong are well connected with Nagaland by road. National Highway 39 links Kohima to Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur. Buses and private taxis are easily available. Because of its tough hilly terrain, Kohima does not have a Railway Station. The nearest rail link is Dimapur, which is easily connected to the important cities like Guwahati and Kolkata.

There is no airport in Kohima. The nearest airport is at Dimapur at a distance of 74 kilometers. Dimapur operates only domestic flights and is connected to Kolkata and Guwahati from where there are direct flights. From Dimapur, it’s just a two hour cab ride to Kohima.

Handy tips for the travellers

Following points should be kept in mind, if one is planning to attend the Hornbill Festival.

  • Since this festival attracts lots of tourist, one must have all the bookings in advance.
  • Foreigners are no longer required to possess  any entry permit to visit Nagaland. But, they must register themselves with the Foreigner’s Registration Office (District Superintendent of Police) inside of 24 hours of their entry into Nagaland.
  • One can have the brochure which lists the festival events and other attractions in Nagaland from the information center located near the festival site.