For all these years since 2000, only the State capital – Kohima – got the privilege to host the annual Hornbill Festival. However, unlike the past years, three other districts – Dimapur, Mokokchung and Phek – will be given the opportunity to have a taste of the mega festival this year.
The Hornbill International Music Festival (HIMF), till last year, was annually held in Kohima. But this year, Dimapur would be hosting the first three-day event of the HIIMF. Likewise, the HIMF 2016 would be officially launched at DDSC Stadium, Dimapur, with K.K. as the guest artiste. This was informed during a press conference held today at the office of the Tourism directorate.
Other than Dimapur, Phek district will also experience the Hornbill Festival, as Khezhakeno will be the final destination point for the 4th Hornbill Riders’ Meet which is scheduled on Day 4 of the festival. The Trail Hounds Mountain Biking event will be held at Mokokchung on the last day of the festival. The day-long event will be organised by Trail Hounds Cycling Club, Mokokchung.
Addressing the media here on Friday, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism C Apok Jamir said the idea to shift some of the events away from Kohima is solely to give equal privilege to people of other districts. He said the government is contemplating on the idea to extend the annual Hornbill festival to other parts of the State.
With just five days to go, the State’s Tourism department Friday formally announced the 17th edition of Hornbill Festival, which is all set to be held from December 1-10 at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama.
The inaugural celebration on Day 1 will begin at 10 am. The chief guest is yet to be confirmed. Richard Verma, US Ambassador to India and Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court Justice Ajit Singh will be the guests of honour for the function.
Day 3 of the festival will also have the presence of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal as the chief guest while Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, will be the honoured guest.
Another important and interesting event of this year’s Hornbill Festival is the Angami Sports Association’s 50th Anniversary Stone Pulling Ceremony, scheduled for December 3.
Chief Minister TR Zeliang will be the chief host of the stone pulling event while Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Allan Gemmell, OBE Minister Cultural Affairs, British Council, India, will also be present as guests of honour. The stone pulling will commence from KMC Parking slot at 11 am and culminate at Phool Bari Y. Junction.Day 4 of the festival will have the presence of MPs Papu Yadav and his wife as special guests. On the fourth day, 3E Nagaland will organise the 6th Hornbill Half Marathon and Great Hornbill Run at New Secretariat.
Director of Music Task Force, Gugs Chishi, informed that the Hornbill Rock Contest will begin on December 7, while the grand finale is scheduled on December 9. The MTF director further informed that all the musical events which come under HIMF would be held at Hockey Ground, Indira Gandhi Stadium, Kohima, including the Hornbill Choral Competition.
As compared to last year, where a total of 2,34,113 tourists – foreign, domestic and local -, the government and particularly the Tourism department, expressed high hope that the festival will witness many more tourists even this year.
“Our aim in organising the festival is to catch the attention of the outsiders,” C Apok Jamir said maintaining that the response will go beyond their expectation.
Secretary of Tourism department Angau I Thou stated that the department will try its best to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Nagas during the 10-day festival.
It was informed that the Hornbill Night Carnival will begin from the first day till the last day from 6 to 9 pm. (Eastern Mirror News)