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Hornbill Festival 2021

(Last Updated 08 Oct, 2021)

  • Dates :

    01/12/2021 - 10/12/2021

  • Location :

    Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland

Hornbill Festival is one of the most popular festivals of Nagaland, It is celebrated every year from 1st to 10th December. The Hornbill Festival is indeed the most renowned celebration of Nagas. There is a huge gathering for merrymaking in the form of drinking, eating, singing, and dancing.

Festival Date

 1 Dec 2021 to 10 Dec 2021


 Naga Heritage Village in Kisama, Kohima


 To revive, promote, protect, sustain and showcase the rich cultural heritage and diversity of Naga Tribes

Famous for 

 Tribes & Cultural Events, Rock Contest, Songs and Music

Tickets Price

 INR 20 - INR 30 per day. Has to be purchased every day to attend the event.

Nearest Airport

 Dimapur Airport - 2 hr 24 min (73.3 km) via NH29

Nearest Rail Head

 Dimapur Railway Station - 2 hr 40 min (78.0 km) via NH29

Near by Attractions

 2nd world war cemetery, Nagaland state museum, khonoma village

Where to stay

 Hotel Japfu, Hotel Vivor, Hotel Kohima and Razhu Pru.

What is the Hornbill Festival?/ What makes the Hornbill Festival so important?

The Hornbill Festival is one of the largest celebrations of the indigenous warrior tribes of Nagaland. Naga people have a rich tradition of maintaining their unique heritage and customs. For this reason, people plan their visit and book Nagaland Hornbill Festival tours so that they can experience the uniqueness of this tribe and spent some time with the locals.

Each of the tribes and sub-tribes in the state have their own ways of promoting their culture. In addition to their traditional ceremonial attire which is different for each tribe, there are multi-colored spears, Dao’s with dyed goat's hair. The exotic headgears and ivory armlets are other famous traditional things of Nagas which steal the show. In earlier times, the fighters had to prove their bravery, to wear these.

In spite of the tremendous modernity entering into their lives, the people have preserved their customs and legacy. The state is called the 'Land of Festivals' and people dwelling here have a fondness of celebrating the deeds of their ancient warriors and folk heroes. 

Moreover, the medleys that immortalize love stories, folk tunes, and gospel songs are also cherished. The festival is named after Hornbill, one of the most respected bird species in the state. Interestingly, the importance of the bird is reflected in several tribal cultural expressions, songs, and dances.

Where is the Hornbill festival held?/ Where is the Hornbill Festival celebrated?

Precisely, the hornbill festival is celebrated approximately 5 km from Kohima on the festival grounds of the organizers- Kisama Heritage Village. This is a small village of Nagas in the state of Nagaland. Moreover, this is a guarded area, and those who wish to enter have to buy their tickets. The events usually start at 9:30 am every day. 

Hornbill Festival Dates 2021?

Hornbill Festival is celebrated annually during the first week of December, i.e. from 1st-10th. 

Where is the Hornbill festival held?

The Hornbill festival is held at the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama, located around 12 kilometers from the capital of the Nagaland, Kohima. It begins at 9 am every day. You can reach the venue by booking a taxi. Purchase the tickets at the entry gate and pass through the security check. However, make sure you have a valid pass to park the vehicle at the site.

How is the Hornbill festival celebrated?

Hornbill festival, also known locally as the 'Festival of Festivals', is organized by State Tourism and Arts and Culture Department, Government of Nagaland. The fiesta is celebrated to encourage inter-tribal harmony and promote colorful local culture and traditions. The visual retreat further displays the unique customs, rituals and practices as well as preserve the heritage. Tourists are warmly welcomed and are treated well. The celebrations are attended by all the major tribes of Nagaland who present themselves with various arts, folk songs, dances and games. There are numerous displays of handicrafts, handloom, multi-cuisines, local food stalls. While a rich amount of rice beer is always at hand to indulge in.

Evenings are lighted by the thrilling Hornbill National Rock Concert in which bands from all over the country and abroad participate to compete. This is followed by the amazing Night Market in the town. But the most attractive event at the festival is Naga chilly eating competition. Additionally, the pork eating festival which draws a lot of crowd evokes much fanfare and excitement.

Top Things to Do at Hornbill Festival

  • Learn about traditional arts, folk songs & games.
  • Know more about tribal life exploring replicas of tribal huts, wooden carvings and drum instruments beats at end of the day.
  • Binge on delightful gastronomy, the massive amount of food stalls along with rice beer to enjoy.
  • Participate in Naga Chili eating competition recognized as the hottest event festival.
  • You should not miss visiting Morungs as these are the best things about this festival. The best time to visit Morungs is during the morning because that’s the time when performers start getting dressed. You can get some close clicks with them but only after you take their permission.
  • This festival is organized by Nagas but 16 different tribes become a part of this extravagant affair. So, have a conversation with different tribes, it is a great experience- one that you will not forget throughout your life.
  • Enjoy the varied cultural performances throughout the day and become a part of the event.
  • Don't miss out on the local rice beer 

Tips for Travelers visiting the Hornbill Festival

The following travel tips will be handy if you are planning to attend the Hornbill Festiva. Another key point to note is that the festival begins from December 1, which is also celebrated as the Nagaland Formation Day.

  • The festival is one of the top tourist attractions thus, draws a lot of tourists from in and around the Nagaland State. So, make sure to have your bookings well in advance to avoid any last minute hassles and inconvenience.
  • There is an option of bargaining at various stalls and souvenir shops. So tourists can exercise this option to get the best deals.
  •  Foreigners are no longer required to possess the Entry Permit to visit Nagaland. However, they must register themselves with the Foreigner’s Registration Office (District Superintendent of Police) within 24 hours of their entry into the state.
  • There is a very helpful Information Center located near the festival site. You can have the brochure which lists the festival events and other attractions in Nagaland from here. 

How to reach Kohima, Nagaland

The important thing to remember here is that Nagaland neither has an airport nor a railway station. This is how you can reach Kohima if you are planning your trip.

by Road: NH39 which is an interlink connecting Kohima to Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur. The state highways co-joins from Guwahati to Shillong where other states are accessed. Personal cabs and buses are available to reach Kohima.

by Train: Kohima does not have a Railway Station of its own because of its tough hilly terrain. The closest rail link is in Dimapur, which is connected to the important towns of Guwahati and Kolkata. Although traveling by train can be a slow affair, it nevertheless is the best way to reach Kohima. Not only it is the cheapest but it leads through some of the most scenic views of the amazing mountain valleys and hills.  

by Flight: Again Kohima does not have an airport of its own and the nearest airport is in Dimapur, at a distance of 74 kilometers. Dimapur operates only domestic flights and is connected to Kolkata and Guwahati from where there are direct flights. International travelers will first have to get off at either Kolkata or Delhi international airports and then catch a connecting flight to Dimapur. From Dimapur, it’s a two-hour cab ride to Kohima for which many taxi operators run to and fro which can be hired. However, the option of a 30-minute helicopter ride from the airport is also available in case you are in a hurry.

And don't forget, you'll need innerline permit to enter and visit most of the places in Nagaland.

Q. How to get the Inner Line Permit for Nagaland?

Ans. For all the visitors who are not an inhabitant of Nagaland have to get the Inner Line Permit to visit Nagaland. Visitors can get this permit from the Office of Deputy Resident Commissioner in Guwahati, Shillong, Delhi, and Kolkata.

Or else you can also get an “on-arrival” ILP from the DC office of Dimapur. It is better to apply for this permit early in the morning so that it gets done by noon. Once you get the permit, you will be able to enter and visit Kohima. 

Q. Where to stay in Nagaland if you are attending Hornbill Festival?

Ans: Partake in the Hornbill Festival in Kohima while soaking in the comforts of some of the best hotels and Luxury camps. There are multiple luxurious hotels like Hotel Japfu, Hotel Vivor, Hotel Kohima and Razhu Pru. Explore hotels in Nagaland to plan your trip.

Frequently asked Questions about Hornbill Festival

Q: What is the Hornbill Festival Dates 2021?

Ans. Hornbill Festival will be celebrated between 1st December to 10th of December this year.

Q: In which state of India is the hornbill festival celebrated?

Ans. Hornbill Festival is celebrated in Nagaland every year in the first week of December.

Q: How do the Nagas celebrate the hornbill festival?
Ans. The hornbill festival is celebrated with a lot of zeal in which the highlights are the showcasing of the local cultures of the tribe. The people of the Naga tribe dance on their local rhymes and the visitors also become a part of the celebration. Further, there are a lot of customs and rituals followed by the locals, and several performances follow this. Apart from all these Nagas display various folk songs, games, arts, handlooms, and handicrafts. 
Throughout the celebration, local cuisines are served and people love celebrating and eating these cuisines. They buy souvenirs and also get to taste the rice beer that happens to be the specialty of the Kisama Heritage Village.
Q: What happens during Hornbill Festival Nagaland?

Ans. The entire week is grandly celebrated by the people. There are dance and singing performances and a lot of other highlights making the festival a very happening event of 10 days. Apart from this, people also get to enjoy good food and drink throughout the festival. They get to see the wonderful handicraft and a lot more things. 

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