One of the most young and sizzling festivals of North East, Hornbill Festival is one of those rare events which can add a variety to your holidays. Come first week of December and the entire Kohima city seems to evacuate their houses and flood on the streets, making it appear like a Festival rampage.
Hornbill Festival Highlights
Hornbill Festival is celebrated between 01 December and 07 December every year. Venued at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, 12 Kms from Kohima City, this is the most awaited festival of the state. This festival brings in the 17 (officially recognized) tribes of the state on one platform. Dance, music, food, drinks and merriment; the entire state immerses itself in the colors of this auspicious event, reviving and strengthening the culture and traditions of the state.
Hornbill Music Festival & Rock Contest
North-East India is the land of exotic cultures. Music is inbuilt in the air and the same can be experienced in Nagaland too. Rock bands are born and bred on the streets and they get to outshine in events such as this one. Watch the budding stars showcase their talents of rock music as they thrill the stage on the strums of the strings. You bet they can make The Beatles and Pink Floyd run for their bread and butter!!
Hornbill Dance Festival
If music is not enough for you, then fasten your shoe laces to thump on some folk music as the tribes get together to shake the floor. Vibrant colors, the traditional Naga costumes, weapons and exquisite make-up, the dance is a combination of drums, bamboo spears and shields all striking in unison as the feet move on the mesmerising tunes.
World War-II Car Rally
The World War-II rally competition is organized every year to commemorate the contribution of our war heroes who participated in the World War-2. The decisive battle of WW-II was fought in Kohima between the Allied Forces and the invading Japanese army in 1944 wherein thousands of friends and foes fell on the battleground.
Miss Nagaland Beauty Contest
Watch the sizzling beauty pageants rock the ramp with their flaunting catwalk and ravishing style in the backdrop of some mystifying music.
Naga Chilli Eating Competition
If you think you can handle Hot, think again. Try your hands on the ‘World’s Hottest Chillies’ at the Naga Chilli Eating Competition. These chillies are so hot and pungent that even smelling them from a distance can make your eyes watering. Mmmm?? Still thinking you can handle it!! Well, go on and take a try!!
Hornbill Photography Competition
Show your talent on the lenses by participating in the Hornbill Photography contest. There is enough that one’s eyes can see around to make up for a good photography show.
Handlooms & Handicrafts Emporium
Time for some souvenir and the best to buy here is woollen clothing. Hand weaved in some of the finest threads; you can find some good woollens from here which are not only of good design, but also extremely light weight to carry. Naga shawls are famous for their designs, and of course good warmth offered by them; a great souvenir for your friends and family members. Bamboo and wooden handicrafts are also something worth spending your money on.
Other events that form a part of the festival are,
• Hornbill Chef – an indigenous Naga cooking competition,
• Greased Bamboo Pole Climbing – a traditional sport of the Nagas where participants try to climb up a 10ft tall bamboo pole which is greased with pork fat
• Naga Wrestling – a display of the traditional Naga style of wrestling
• Fat Mania – the pork fat eating contest
• Ultimate Hornbill Choir Competition – an initiative to promote choral music.
• Hornbill GLOCAL Film Fest – a collection of short films, documentaries and music videos
• Hornbill Literature Fest – a literature festival showcasing insights of the history and culture of the Naga tribes.
Must Try at Hornbill Festival
• Try the Naga Costume with all the paraphernalia.
• Join the dance and music festival in the evening. Trust me.. its real fun!!!
• Do not forget to take a sip of the local wine and betel nuts (Tamul)
• Gather some courage and take a bite of the Naga Chillies. Take some home as souvenir.
• Take a visit to the Kohima War Memorial, and witness the homage of more than 40000 soldiers who gave their lives in WW-II.
• Buy the Hornbill Festival T-Shirts available exclusively for those who become a part of the event.
• Hallelujah for non-veg foodies. Try the non-veg prepared by the different tribes in their own exotic style displayed at their numerous stalls all across the symposium.