By Imna Longchar
Dimapur (Nagaland), Nov 30: Dubbed as the festival of festivals, Nagaland is all set and ready to welcome guests both from outside the state and its denizens for the 22nd edition of the globally acclaimed “Hornbill Festival” at Heritage Village at Kisama, Kohima, starting December 1 and culminating on December 10.
The ten-day long Hornbill Festival would showcase the colourful tradition and cultural diversity of the 16 Naga tribes through folk dances, traditional music, tribal rituals, indigenous games, local cuisines, handicrafts, artworks and textiles besides more than hundred separate events.
Having scripted in the annals of the festival which began in the year 2000 for holding the festival virtually in the last edition due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s edition would be celebrated strictly by following all laid down COVID-19 protocols and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and only vaccinated participants and tourists are to be part of the 10 – day long festival.
When contacted, an official from the State’s Health & Family Welfare department told this correspondent that keeping in mind the outbreak of a new COVID-19 variant (Omicorn), the department have issued a revised set of guidelines for the festivities.
Various programmes, especially adventure tourism, Naga Style Wrestling, Cross Country Race, Mountain Biking Race, Nagaland Literature Festival, Nagaland Film Festival, Miss Nagaland 2021 beauty pageant, and the Hornbill Bamboo Festival would be held in different districts of the state during the 10- day festival.
Icing in the cake would be the country’s biggest music event, the “Hornbill International Music Festival”.
In addition to the stalls at the bamboo pavilion, this year, through the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME), 40 new stalls would be set up at the main venue at Kisama.
Nagaland Governor, Prof Jagdish Mukhi, would be the chief guest at the opening ceremony which starts at 4 pm while Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, will be the chief host.
The 22nd edition of the Hornbill Festival 2021 would also have United States Consul General, Melinda Pavek, Ambassador of Israel to India, Ron Malka, and Germany’s Consul General to India, Manfred Auster, as guests of honour.
The festival father would be from the Konyak tribe, Longwa village, while the tribal guest would be from Yimkhiung tribe in order to invoke blessings for the festival.
It may be mentioned that the Hornbill Festival is a celebration of the Naga tribal way of life, an extravaganza of its rich cultural heritage, that showcases the energy and vibrancy of Naga youth.
The Hornbill festival has successfully propelled Nagaland’s emerging soft power into the global stage, where every Naga is a stakeholder of the selling of their own raw products.
The Hornbill festival also signifies unity and oneness in all aspects while exemplifying the vast cultural heritage and potential of the Naga youths through the festival.
Most of the events are conceptualized, curated and implemented by young entrepreneurs, event management groups, innovators and non-government organizations that create a 100 crore plus Hornbill economy which generates more than 8000 jobs and is home to more than 500 events held across six districts of the state.