Named after a bird, Hornbill Festival is a major festival in Nagaland. Like many festivals in the state, Hornbill festival is also related to agriculture. It is a 7 to 10 days festival that begins with immense zeal from December 1 every year. Held in Kisama Heritage Village, this festival is attended by all the major tribes in Nagaland.
- Hornbill is a good time to witness the cultural vividness; it also gives the opportunity to bond with different communities. The warrior log drums, colourful headgear, and soulful war cry, exquisite costumes are the highlights of the festival. The Kohima Night Bazaar and contests like pork eating and King Chilly add tingly flavour to the festive mood.
- The state of Nagaland is home to several tribes, which have their own distinct festivals. More than 60% of the population of Nagaland 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.
- To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote the cultural heritage of Nagaland, the Government of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December. The first festival was held in 2000.
- The festival is named after the Indian hornbill, the large and colourful forest bird which is displayed in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes.
- Organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments, the Hornbill Festival showcases a mélange of cultural displays under one roof. This festival usually takes place between 1 and 7 December every year in Kohima.
- The Hornbill Festival is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in this festival. The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its extravaganza and traditions.
- For visitors, it means a closer understanding of the people and culture of Nagaland, and an opportunity to experience the food, songs, dances and customs of Nagaland.
- On 1 December 2017 at the Naga Heritage Village of Kisama, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the 18th Hornbill Festival and State Formation Day celebrations of Nagaland.