The Hornbill Festival – Nagaland

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Hornbill Festival

Nagaland is known as a land of festivals, with each of the many tribes celebrating numerous festivals throughout the year. Every year in the first week of December, Nagaland celebrates a very special festival: The popular Hornbill Festival.

Each of the many tribes in Nagaland has their own festivals and celebrations, customs, traditions, and methods of maintaining them. Each tribe has their own colourful costumes and jewellery, by which they are clearly distinguishable. Most festivals revolve around agriculture, the main source of income for the population. Attendance is compulsory, as the festivals are considered sacred.

The Hornbill festival was created, to give all the different tribes a platform to showcase their traditions and bring all the festivals under one umbrella, as well as to encourage inter-tribal interaction. The festival aims to protect the rich diversity of unique traditions, dances and rituals. It takes place at Naga Heritage Village, about 12 km from Kohima. Nagaland offers an unbelievable range of cultural traditions to its visitors and at Hornbill festival, they all come together for a great show of the best, most vibrant and colourful displays and performances.

But why is it called Hornbill festival? The name was chosen as a tribute to this bird, that Naga people admire for its alertness and grandeur. In many songs and folklore tales it is evident that this bird plays an important role in Naga culture.

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