Hornbill Festival ends

  • | Saturday | 10th December, 2022

Kohima, Dec 10 (PTI) The 10-day long Hornbill Festival of Nagaland ended on Saturday with thousands of visitors dancing to the tune unity dance of the Lotha Naga tribe around the bonfire during the glittering closing function held at Naga Heritage Village Kisama.Australian Chef Gary Mehigan lit the bonfire along with chief guest Supreme Court Judge, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and special guest Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.With the Lotha Naga tribe humming the traditional harvest song, the guests and visitors joined the "Unity Dance" along with tribal cultural troupes at the main arena.Fusion of tradition and modernity as "Made in Nagaland" cultural performance by various local artists lifted the spirit of the visitors.In his address, Justice Kaul extended greetings to "the peace loving people of Nagaland who co-exist in harmony with their unique cultural and traditional system." Nagas are known not only for their bravery but hospitality and warmth, he said.Nagaland, a land of festivals, has been on the national and international map of tourism which is a positive step in ushering development in the state, he said, adding that this kind of festival brings people together from all across the globe and creates a sense of unity in diversity."The Naga customary laws and traditions are unique which are protected under the Constitution of India... ," said Kaul.Making the closing remarks, Rio said a festival is a place for people to gather and to share and in this very spirit, the festival saw the coming together of all the tribes and sub-tribes of Nagaland, government departments, NGOs, businessmen and women, adventure enthusiasts, artists and artisans, farmers, etc, to the foothills of towering Mount Japfü to celebrate the past, the current and, most importantly share the richness and uniqueness of the Naga Heritage with the world."Unity is something we all need", he said adding that "unity to work together and to take the right and responsible steps, to continue moving forward, hand in hand, that"s the vision for which the Nagaland government is working." To all our tourists and visitors, Rio said "you arrived here as strangers, but we will now depart as friends. We wish you a safe journey and hope you take back with you sweet memories of your time here in our humble land." Requesting the tourists to be Nagaland’s ambassadors, the CM hoped to see them next year/with many more friends and family."This year’s Hornbill festival has been awesome and outstanding with positive response from the visitors as well as both domestic and foreign tourists," said Advisor for Tourism and Art & Culture Department, Khehovi Yepthomi.He said that despite the absence of the seven major Naga tribes from Eastern Nagaland, the government arranged cultural clubs from Kohima and Dimapur to display cultural items.Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organistion (ENPO), an apex body of the seven Naga tribes from six districts – Mon, Tuensang, Longleng, Kiphire, Noklak and Shamator –boycotted the festival to press for their demand for a separate state – Frontier Nagaland.The seven tribes of the region – Chang, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Phom, Sangtam, Tikhir and Yimkhiung did not participate in this edition of the festival in any form.A total of 1,40,299 people visited the Hornbill Festival this year.The total includes 90,860 locals, 48,413 domestic tourists and 1,026 foreigners, said Deputy Director of Tourism Department, Toka E. Tuccumi.In 2019, the Hornbill Festival had recorded the highest footfall of 2.69 lakh visitors.In 2020 Hornbill Festival could not be held due to COVID-19 pandemic while in 2021 it was curtailed to four days due to Oting massacre.The festival was inaugurated by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on December 1 coinciding with the 60th Statehood Day. PTI NBS NBS RG RG

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