Topic of the Day – Hornbill Festival

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Hornbill Festival

In this edition of ‘Topic of the Day’, you can read about the Hornbill Festival. Festivals of India form an integral part of the art and culture section of the UPSC syllabus.

Hornbill festival is the largest indigenous festival and an annual event of the Nagaland government to promote tourism. The festival is celebrated annually in the first week of December in order to encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote the culture of Nagaland, preserve, protect and revive the uniqueness and richness of the Naga heritage. The practice of celebrating hornbill festival by the state government was started in the year 1963.

  • The festival is considered the “Festival of festivals” in Nagaland.
  • The festival is named after the bird – Hornbill which is mostly displayed in folklore of various tribes in most of the states.
  • “Hornbill” is the most revered and admired bird for the Nagas and the Festival is a tribute to this majestic bird, known for its qualities of grandeur and alertness. The bird is closely identified with the social and cultural life of the Nagas, as reflected in various tribal dances, songs and folklores. The traditional headgears worn during the festival displays the tribes’ awe and admiration for the bird. It indicates the individuality and commonness of the Nagas.
  • The annual festival is organized by State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments and is supported by Union Government.
  • The festival is a colorful mixture of religious ceremonies, food fairs, sports, games, parades, crafts, performances, dance etc.
  • Hornbill festival exposes the culture and tradition of the tribal people and reinforces the identity of the Nagaland state as a unique one in India’s federal union.
  • It has become a unique platform to witness the cultural diversity, not only for the Nagas and the people of the other seven sisters in the North Eastern region but also the tourists from various parts of the country and the world to witness the cultural diversity.
  • International cultural troops also take part in the event making it an international event.

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