The festival was started by Nagaland government in year 2000 to encourage interaction between the tribal communities and promote the cultural heritage of the state. Itwas named after the hornbill bird, which finds a place in the folklores of most the tribes of Nagaland.
Since then, Hornbill Festival has become a calendar event held from 1-10 December every year and showcases a mélange of cultural displays under one roof.Global Connection Siliguri has been arranging logistics and accommodation for tourists to the annual fest for several years now.
The festival is held at Naga heritage village, Kisama, about 12 km from Kohima. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in the festival in their traditional attire and equipped with traditional weapons. The week-long festival is replete with colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games, and ceremonies. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are displayed for sale. Songs and dances, fashion shows, beauty contest, traditional archery, Naga wrestling, indigenous games and musical concerts are an integral part. In the recent years, the Hornbill International Motor Rally and WW-II Vintage Car Rally have added to the attraction of the festival.