In the touristy less well-known part of India – Assam, colorful festivals are held every year.
The CommuniTea Festival is a micro-level initiative that was introduced in the year 2012 by a group of tea-plantations in Upper Assam, India with the aim of celebrating the forgotten rich cultural and traditional heritage of the many tribal communities who work & live in & around the plantations of Assam. It is an annual festival usually celebrated in the early part of December where one can enjoy & experience the cultural diversity of the tea-plantation workers. It is essentially an evening of many folk-dance performances, songs, and art forms of the different tea-tribes of the region -each with their unique costumes, colors, tunes & beats. Along with the dances & songs, there are performances by children, showcasing traditional jewelry & clothing, items of traditional household use, ethnic food, and the like.
To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland, the Government of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December from 01-10th December. This colourful festival is organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments. The Hornbill Festival showcases a mélange of cultural displays under one roof.
It is held at Naga Heritage Village- Kisama which is about 12 kms from Kohima. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in this festival. The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its extravaganza and traditions. One can witness and understand the people and culture of Nagaland, and an opportunity to experience the food, songs, dances and customs of Nagaland within a single arena. The week-long festival unites one and all in Nagaland and people enjoy the colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are also on display. One should consider to be a part of the opening ceremony of the festival held on 01st December, every year.
Kisama Heritage Complex for the full day observe the different tribal performances and soak in the atmosphere of the rather colourful and vibrant Hornbill Festival. Enjoy Cultural Dances (All 16 major tribes), War Dances (All 16 major tribes), Folk Songs, Indigenous Games, Music (Rock Beat contest in the evening), Fashion Show (Cultural & Modern), Handloom & Handicrafts, Local Cuisines , Local drinks (Zutho, Thutshe) etc. In the afternoon, have the option to explore the village of the Angami tribe, Jakhama and Kigwema. In the evening, enjoy the Night Bazaar.
The Jakhama and Kigwema villages are situated on the southern Angami belt and are predominantly inhabited by the Angami tribes which are further divided into several clans. The villages are about 20 kms south to Kohima and are lay out on the top of the mountain with an astonishing natural view of the nearby villages and its surroundings. This entire village is encircled by terraced paddy fields giving it a pleasant look.
Each village has got a traditional entrance gate. Within the village one can see the customary Angami houses some of which are elegant and shows the prosperity of the villagers in a traditional way. Here one can explore the village and interact with the local tribes and can be customized with the local life style. “Sekreyni” is the main festival here, which is held in the month of February.
“The Tea Festival” is organized by the tribal communities of the tea estates and is their endeavour to showcase the diversity and the richness of culture that exists among them. It is a rather colourful celebration of tradition, art and culture, and is a unique festival that offers an opportunity to witness the multiplicity of dance forms, musical performances, instrumental collaborations, and handicraft displays, found among the tribal communities of the tea growing areas of Upper Assam.