The Hornbill Festival

India

The land of the Nagas, known as the last head hunters, is a hidden region of north-eastern India. Each year during December, the ten-day Hornbill Festival takes place, an annual melange of cultural displays from all 16 tribes of Nagaland.  

These once fearsome warriors have retained much of their traditional and cultural heritage and this festival offers a unique insight into an extraordinary display of tribal culture, rarely seen by foreigners. Named after the Hornbill bird, one of the most venerated bird species in the state, the festival showcases elaborate tribal costumes, vibrant performances, folk music, crafts, indigenous games and sports like archery and wrestling, as well as religious ceremonies.

Best still, you can enjoy this festive extravaganza in style and luxury at Kohima Camp – a pop up camp offering individually designed canvas tents, complete with private en suite, crisp linens and your very own butler. At the end of each day’s events return to Kohima Camp, located in the foothills of the Japfu Mountains and soak up the serenity of your surroundings. Shared with a privileged few, this intimate camp offers superlative tented lodgings, sumptuous meals and evening campfire cocktails, all in a relatively unexplored region of India.

Bound by Assam in the west and Myanmar in the east, the exotic state of Nagaland is a cultural mosaic of diverse multi-ethnicity and the Hornbill Festival is one of the largest celebrations of the indigenous warrior tribes.

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Stephanie Carthy
Raised in Australia but has made England home, Stephanie brings extensive first-hand experience across all seven continents.