The festival is a week-long cultural extravaganza, being conducted for the last 13 years but in the last few years, it has caught the eyes of travelers as well as photographers from around the world.
It showcases the culture and practices of Nagaland in the most beautiful manner possible.
The festival is held at Kisama Heritage Village which is 10-15 kms away from the capital, Kohima. There are 16 tribes which participate in this annual festival from 1st December to 10th December.
Having seen the excellent response over the last few years, the festival days have been extended from 7 days to 10 days. Fondly known as the “Festival of festivals”, there is something for everyone- culture, food, arts, music, shopping or history.
These tribes have a showcase community hall called ‘Morung’ which is being built and decorated in the traditional way.
The kitchen, the rooms, the utensils and the music instruments used by that particular tribe will be on display.
There are different events spread across the 10 days.
The one event which people absolutely loved was “Naga chilly eating’ competition, naga chilies are supposed to be the hottest and Nagas as well as tourists from all over the world participate in this chilly eating competition and their reactions are just priceless.
Besides the usual showcasing of Naga dance, music, art, ethnic foods, handlooms and handicrafts, many other interesting contests and activities are organized in the main arena, I thoroughly enjoyed dance performances from the different states of North-East.
There are also night bazars and carnivals in Kohima where you might find a cheaper deal. You can also relish street food if you are non-vegetarian and taste some Naga delicacies if you are really experimental with the food- Dog meat, snails, all sorts of sausages, frog, etc.
There are some life saver vegetarian stalls of Eastern food – Jalebis, pakaudas, samosa due to Bihari settlement in Nagaland. The best bit about the festival is music, bands from North-East as well as some famous International bands perform during the festival in Kohima.