Nagaland to celebrate Hornbill festival

With decline in COVID-19 cases, the Nagaland government is gearing up to organise the Hornbill festival this year from December one, a senior official said on Friday.

Advisor for Tourism and Art & Culture, Khehovi Yeputhomi said this during a coordination meeting of Tourism and Art & Culture department with tribal hohos (organisations) here on Friday.

The state would be celebrating the Hornbill festival after a gap of a year… since its inception in 2000, the great hornbill festival could not be celebrated last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic but with the decrease in the positivity rate, the state will hold the festival this year, he said.

In the past it was celebrated from December 1 to 10, nonetheless, the Advisor said that the number of days for the festival this time would soon be finalised by the state government.

The Hornbill festival is an annual tourism promotional event of the Nagaland government organized by the departments of Tourism and Art & Culture showcasing the rich Naga tradition and culture at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, about 12 km from the state capital.

In the 2019 festival, a total of 3 lakh visitors, including tourists from abroad and other parts of the country witnessed the festival giving an estimated income of Rs 75 crore to the entrepreneurs.

This is an internationally recognized festival and Nagas are very fortunate to have a very rich and colourful culture and tradition to attract tourists from around the world, he said.

Ahead of the Hornbill festival, the state would also be hosting International Tourism Mart (ITM) for the first time at the same venue from November 28 to 30.

It is organised by the Union Ministry of Tourism for promotion of tourism in the North East region by showcasing the culture and tradition of eight northeastern states, including Sikkim, he said.

The advisor urged the tribal hohos in the state to renovate and modify their respective morungs (traditional huts) in Kisama by November 15.

All laid down COVID-19 protocols and Standard Operating Procedures would be strictly adhered during the ITM and also the Hornbill Festival, he said.

The advisor also said that the selected participants, cultural troupes and volunteers to be engaged during the festivity should be COVID-19 vaccinated.