The sprightly, eastern state in India is sure to unleash the wanderer in you. Right at the edge of the country, the state of festivals stands tall in its majestic grey-blue hills and green valley beauty. Nagaland still maintains and protects its culture and heritage, and until recently had about 16-odd headhunting Naga tribes fearlessly fighting off intruders. However, today the state is much more developed and open to curious visitors. Nagaland will offer you many a chance at awe and inspiration, the Hornbill Festival being one such occasion. If you are on a journey in the East, this is an experience that you most definitely don’t want to miss.
Every year Nagaland celebrates the much-awaited event – The Hornbill Festival in Kisama Heritage Village. Once a year numerous Naga tribes converge to celebrate the local tribal culture, rich tradition, and heritage of their land. The reason why the Hornbill Festival should be on your travel-list is that it is nothing like the corporeal world outside. This event is in the spirit and the experience here largely depends on how it makes you feel. Named after the most sacred bird species in the state, the Hornbill festival focuses on preserving local traditions, encourage inter-tribal harmony and to promote tourism. It’s an elaborate 10-day event of many fascinating happenings.
Here you will find many colorful stalls set up by the warm locals, selling authentic art, handicrafts, handloom, and delicious local cuisine. Bargaining is a big part of the shopping culture here so make sure to negotiate to get the best deals at the souvenir shops. The festival is filled with many indigenous tribes dressed in traditional warrior attire. You might be intimidated at first sight, but the locals are very warm to its visitors. Walk around and you will come across the unforgettable song, art and dance performances, and playful games like the tug-of-war.
As the sun starts to go down the event only gets brighter and fuller. Wait till the evening for the Hornbill National Rock Concert, where local and foreign bands come together to create a lively, musical atmosphere. The magical Night Market opens up for the most exquisite local trinkets and collectibles. And things get quite interesting and hilarious when the Naga Chilly Eating competition and Pork Eating Festival begins.
The festival, every year, starts on the 1st of December and goes on till the 10th. The occurrences here are exceptionally exotic and equally worthwhile. Mark your 2019 calendar and visit the Hornbill Festival for an unforgettable, life-changing time. Life as you know it will only be a distant memory from here onwards.