Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival Is Here

Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival Is Here
A local Naga tribe performing for the Hornbill Festival, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

This full-blown cultural festival is a feast from the North-east

OT Staff
December 02 , 2018
01 Min Read

At the beginning of December each year, Nagaland hosts its biggest event—the Hornbill Festival to celebrate its diverse community and culture. The event has been taking place every year since 2000, and takes place from December 1-10, coinciding with the Nagaland Statehood Day on December 1. The festival has tribes and sub-tribes from different regions of Nagaland come to Kisama (close to state capital Kohima) and display best of their community—from dance and song to literature and food. 

Although the namesake of the festival may mislead you, the hornbill isn’t Nagaland’s state bird at all—the state bird is the less known and endangered Blyth Tragopan. It however has been named after the hornbill for this bird features heavily in Naga folktales and stories, and feathers of the hornbill form an important part of the tribal dresses. 


This year, in response to the tribals requesting for promotion of smaller tribal festivals, the government approved the organization of mini-Hornbill-Tribal festivals which will be organized by the tribals from different regions. The Hornbill festival, which will take place in the first ten days of December will be the main event and is informally referred to as the ‘festival of festivals’. 

This includes mini Hornbill festivals such as the Moatsu Festival by the Ao tribe in Mokokchung, the Tuluni Festival by the Sumi tribe in Zunheboto, the Sekrenyi Festival by the Angami tribe in Kohima, among others. Altogether, there are 16 major tribes in Nagaland, and correspondingly, 16 mini-Hornbill-Tribal festivals which will now be held.

As per reports, the mini festivals will be similar to the main event, although on a much smaller scaler, and will focus on cultural performances of one main tribe, and two other tribes at least.

To know more about the Hornbill Festival, read more here

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