Hornbill festival is a massive international occasion celebrated annually (Dec 1-10) in Kisama village, Kohima. Before anything is spilt about this celebration, one must know that Nagaland is a land of eccentric cultural festivals. These festivals are held year-round among the varied tribes in their respective towns and villages. The fundamental theme of these activities (in a nutshell) is to bring back to life the age-old tradition of the ancestors for a brief moment as a matter of identification and to showcase an element of a long-lost culture to the contemporary generation. Once the celebration is set off, all the people present in the event have the liberty to indulge themselves in the traditional luxury of delicacies, drinks, arts, crafts, music, attire, folklores, equipment, paintings, muses and etcetera at the costs ranging from free to extravagant.
Apart from indulging ourselves in the festive celebration, we are going to stay in a few of the warmest homestays, and hop villages, we are also going to trek to the mighty Dzukou valley, have a night of camping in the wild and make many many new friends!
We are looking forward to hosting you in our home!
Your city – Dimapur – Kohima
Today is about breaking the ice with fellow travellers and the locals, experiencing Angami (local tribe) hospitality, warming up to the festivities, walking around in the town, exploring cafes, and hornbill night carnival. If you are a non-vegetarian, there are a number of seasonal exotic meats you may try. Delicious home-cooked food is available for vegetarians as well.
Kohima – Khonoma – Dzüleke – Kigwema
Today is about understanding the land more, the culture, history, architecture, food, lifestyle, superstitions and anything you are curious about the Nagas. Today is about storytelling. We walk around the first green village of Asia (more on that later) in a curated route through all main khels/sectors of the village with ED hyperlocal guides. After this, we take a quick stroll in a very picturesque neighbouring remote village called Dzüleke. This area practices some of the most innovative strategies for conservation, distribution of resources and sustainability.
Kigwema – Kisama – Kigwema
We take the whole day today to indulge in Hornbill celebrations. We will visit morungs (houses/gathering places/educational centres) of every tribe. Try local cuisines, sip rice beer of different flavours, explore the hornbill market and see lots and lots of colourful cultural performances. This isn’t even half of the experiences we will see that day. We will scatter all around the venue and spend as much time as we want in the venue.
There will be several independent ceremonies happening around the venue, based on the schedule, we can visit some of these. It’s a whole day of colourful performances, lots of rice beer, exotic food, good music and merry.
Kigwema – Dzukou
Today is about walking slowly in the most beautiful landscapes, camping and stargazing. It is the day to indulge in nature’s masterpiece, push ourselves a little out of our comfort zone, watch the most beautiful sunset, sleep under the milky way of stars, have campfire conversations, the smell of firewood, books, wine, conversations and photography.
Dzukou – Kigwema
Today is about exploring the vastness and beauty of the valley. We go for a walk around the valley, pass through gushing streams, a giant cross, natural cave-like formations etc. Spend the first half of the day exploring the valley, and by evening we return to our homestay where hot water and home-cooked lunch awaits us.
Dimapur Airport – Fly back home
Drive to the airport as per flight timings.
Our Hornbill celebration tales of Nagaland end today.