India isn’t a stranger to festivals. Right from high-profile music festivals that have international musicians as headliners to cultural festivals that last for a week and more. There’s something happening in some corner of the country regardless of the season and we owe it to our vibrant culture. And the one that has caught our eye happens all the way in the northeast of India. The Hornbill Festival of Nagaland which begins from the 1st of December is on our radar. Organised by the government of Nagaland, the festival is all about celebrating the state’s culture. Nagaland as a state is pretty underrated and you get to witness it in all its glory during the Hornbill Festival. Here’s why you need to know everything about it.
1. It’s A Big Celebration
The Hornbill is deep-rooted in the Naga culture and the people in Nagaland hold the bird in very high regard. The 10-day long festival is named after the bird and celebrates the culture of the native tribes of the land. There are roughly 17 Naga tribes that participate in the festival. The festival runs from the 1st of December to the 10th of December and first started in the year 2000.
2. Explore Nagaland’s Culture
The festival gives you a close perspective of the Naga way of life and you get to take in and experience their culture. Right from the indigenous food to their traditional attire and the huts that the tribes live in, it’s a pretty surreal experience. There’s also a lot of music and dance involved and who can say no to that?
3. The Weather Is A Absolutely Amazing
Not only is Nagaland blessed with beautiful flora and fauna but the festival happens at a time when the weather is close to perfect and there’s just the right amount of chill in the air. It’s the perfect time to huddle around a bonfire and watch the winter sky at night.
4. There’s A Rock Music Festival
Yes, you heard that right. They even host the country’s biggest rock music festival over the 10 days and local talent takes the front stage. Close to 20 bands participate in the event, so you can expect a lot of good music and good vibes all around. And all this happens while there’s a handicraft bazaar on display along with authentic Naga food stalls. You get to savour the yummy food while you take in the music.
5. There’s A Naga Chilli Eating Competition
Not too long ago, the Bhut Jolokia was considered the hottest chilli in the world. It has since then lost the title to the Carolina Reaper but eating a Bhut Jolokia is no joke. If you have the guts and are bold enough to eat it then you can participate in the Naga Chilli Eating Competition. Contestants go against each other to see who can eat the maximum number of chillies. This is one hot competition (quite literally)!