After a gap of a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Nagaland is all set to host the world-famous Hornbill festival at Kisama heritage village for 10 days, starting from December 1. Chief Minister Neiphio Rio said he has convened a coordination meeting with all the concerned departments for the upcoming festival. “We look forward to welcoming you to Nagaland, the Land of Festivals, with coordinated health and protocols in place,” he said.
Hornbill festival is a state festival of Nagaland that is held from December 1 every year, in conjunction with the celebration of Nagaland Statehood Day on December 1. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Hornbill festival was conducted through online mode last year.
Nagaland is currently running through the phase of ‘Unlock 8’ since May despite the increasing coronavirus cases in the state. As per an official report issued on Friday, Nagaland has reported 11 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total tally to 31,905. With 19 recoveries reported, the total recovered cases improved at 29,985, while death due to the infection mounted up to 673 with one death reported. Currently, there are 185 active cases in the state.
Nagaland is home to several tribes, which have their distinct festivals, where more than 60 per cent of the population depends on agriculture and therefore most of their festivals revolve around agriculture. The Nagas consider their festivals sacred, so participation in these festivals is essential.
The state government organises the Hornbill festival to encourage inter-tribal interaction and promote the cultural heritage of Nagaland. The first festival was held in 2000 and is named after the Indian hornbill, a large and colorful forest bird that is displayed in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes.
The Hornbill festival is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. All the tribes of Naga from the state and outsides of the state take part in this festival.
The ten-day-long festival unites one and all in Nagaland and people enjoy the colorful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games, and ceremonies. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are also on display.
Festival highlights include the traditional Naga Morungs exhibition and the sale of arts and crafts, food stalls, herbal medicine stalls, flower shows and sales, cultural medley – songs and dances, fashion shows, the Miss Nagaland beauty contest, traditional archery, Naga wrestling, indigenous games, and musical concert.
Moreover, Naga troupes sing folk songs, perform traditional dances and play indigenous games and sports. In the evenings, a program of music concerts, catering to all tastes, ensures that the festive spirit continues through the night. One of the major highlights of this festival is the Hornbill International Rock Festival, which is held at Indira Gandhi Stadium, where local and international rock bands perform.
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