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Hornbill Festival 2013 started off with a bang and for 10 days this time to commemorate the 50 years of Nagaland statehood. The Hornbill Festival 2013 was graced by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. Approximately 1.6 lacs visitors made it to this year’s Hornbill Festival which is slowly becoming bigger and better with each year. The prices of food items and crafts were exorbitantly higher compared to Hornbill Festival 2012. A small bowl of pork cooked a la Naga style were priced at 200 INR, traditional homemade sausages were sold for 50 INR a piece (barbecued nicely though), and at some of the Morungs traditional rice beer were being sold for 100 INR a mug.

Hornbill Festival 2013 introduced some new events apart from the usual showcase of traditional and cultural performances, the rock shows, the notorious King Chilly eating  competition et al. Footloose – The National Hornbill Festival Dance Competition was held for the first time by NAFDA under the patronage of the Tourism Dept, Govt. of Nagaland.

Hornbill Cycle Rally 2013 was flagged off by reviewNE and 97 participants took part in the cycle rally that was organised by Alaphra Group. A lot of school students took part in the cycle rally.

One very heartwarming event during the Hornbill Festival 2013 was Paraiso, a charity concert cum ball for the benefit of the typhoon Haiyan victims in Philippines.

The Night Bazaar was a great attraction and was packed with people for the whole 10 days.

Main highlights of Hornbill Festival 2013:

1. Hornbill Chef – an indigenous Naga cooking competition
2. Greased Bamboo Pole Climbing – a traditional sport of the Nagas where participants try to climb up a 10ft tall bamboo pole which is greased with pork fat
3. Naga Wrestling – a display of the traditional Naga style of wrestling
4. Naga King Chilly Eating Contest – the notorious chilly eating contest the world has ever seen
5. Fat Mania – the pork fat eating contest
6. Ultimate Hornbill Choir Competition – an initiative to promote choral music
7. Hornbill GLOCAL Film Fest – a showcase of short films, documentaries, music videos et al
8. Hornbill Literature Fest – a literature festival

Hornbill Festival 2013 was much more grander and livelier affair than any of its earlier versions. It was hosted for 10 days and packed with exciting events to amuse the hordes of tourists gathered for the biggest cultural festival in the region. Hornbill Festival 2013 was by the far the best so far. Enjoy these assorted photos taken from the Hornbill Festival 2013

Hornbill Festival 2013 – PHOTOS

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A panoramic view of the World War II Museum at Kisama, Naga Heritage Village

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Naga tribal dance troupes waiting to welcome the chief guest on Day 6 of Hornbill Festival 2013

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A view of the main ground at Kisama where the cultural dances take place

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At the Sema Morung

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Chakhesang Nagas resting in front of their Morung

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Ao Arju – the Ao Morung

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The Bamboo Pavilion at Kisama

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Tourists scouring souvenirs at Kisama during the Hornbill Festival 2013

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Soya Chunks, a souvenir shop at Kisama

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Food, fun, photos galore at Hornbill Festival 2013

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A panoramic view of the Bamboo Pavilion

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Naga shawls on display inside a Morung

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An Angami Naga

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Souvenir bamboo mugs by Soya Chunks

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A shop selling bamboo and wooden crafts and traditional Naga dao

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Participants of the Hornbill Cycle Rally 2013

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Mouth watering Naga cuisine

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From FOOTLOOSE – National Hornbill Dance Competition

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Cultural troupes warming themselves around a bonfire in front of their Morung

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Evenings get really colder and small bonfires like these are really pleasant

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A traditional Sumi Naga cuisine – pork cooked with fermented soyabeans

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Zutho – tradtional rice beer served on bamboo mugs