India’s biggest and longest cultural extravaganza, ‘The Hornbill Festival 2019’ kicked off with much fanfare and enthusiasm on December 1. Organized in the picturesque Kohima hills of Nagaland, the annual cultural carnival aims at showcasing the rich heritage and culture of the Naga tribes. The ten-day long festival has gained global fame over the years and this year they are back to mesmerize the audience with their enthralling combination of art, music and culture.
One of the most colourful festivals of India, the ‘Hornbill Festival 2019’ promises to feature world famous 50 plus musical bands. The opening ceremony had Padma Bhushan and Grammy award winner, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt playing his veena at the Raj Bhavan in the special edition of the handshake concert, hosted by the Governor of Nagaland. December 1 also observed Hindustani Classical Music Instrumentalist Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and the Naga Ensemble being launched at the opening ceremony. Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt also performed the next day at the regional centre for performing arts, “Jotsoma”. In an hour long mesmerizing concert, he along with his musical troupe played his compositions from his Grammy winning album “Meeting by the River” and also from his album ‘East meets west’. Performance by the Fantastic Hungarian band, Borsa played at Kisama was a visual treat to the audience at the Hornbill Festival.
In the days to come, Indian rock groups such as the Indus Creed and Swarathma will take charge of the stage on December 8. Swarathma will also play at the Hornbill festival in Kohima on December 7. People from different walks of life have gathered in large numbers at the latest edition of the festival. The festival also promises to provide a platform for the music lovers to learn the subject of music or the business of music at the ‘Thinkfest’ to be held on December 8.
Organized by the State Tourism of Arts and Culture Department, Government of Nagaland, the cultural carnival is commonly known as the ‘Festival of Festivals’ and commonly celebrated as the traditional cluster of all the seventeen Naga tribes, promoting intercultural harmony. The Hornbill festival has been organized across the twin cities of Kohima and Dimapur. Music enthusiasts and tourists are expected to gather in large numbers to enjoy the 10-days extravaganza.
Every year, the festival includes participation of 2.4 lakh domestic tourists, 50,000 foreign tourists and 2 lakh Naga population. This year, the festival will also showcase box office shows of Tetseo Sisters from December 2 to December 9, Country Musical Extravaganza from December 1 to December 10 and Our Story – A Naga Musical from December 2 to December 7. One of the significant features of the Hornbill Festival 2019 is the Hornbill Rock, which will take place continuously for the last three days of the festival.
Mr. Theja Meru, Advisor, Task Force for Music and Arts, Government of Nagaland said, “Festivals are ways to bring together a large family to celebrate togetherness. Such Cultural mosaic of multi-ethnicity is worth cherishing. Age-old practices, tribes which you haven’t known before, warm and courteous gestures of Naga tribes will make you feel at home, wandering through the lanes of lush green villages, Kohima’s night bazaars, proud and soulful display of traditional values and a life away from a chaotic life”.
“And, this is what the Hornbill Fiesta does by bringing different cultures together to discover another beautiful culture. The colour festival is also one of the major crow-pullers for the state and falls in what is believed to be the best time to visit Nagaland,” added Mr. Theja Maru