Guwahati: Nagaland's iconic hornbill festival -- held every year from December 1 onwards -- is unlikely to be held this year due to the rampant spread of the COVID-19 virus in all the nooks and corners of the country, officials have said.
The 10-day festival celebrates the cultural diversity of the state and is marked by festivities celebrating the myriad tribes that reside in the year, but if reports are to be believed, the revelries shall not be held this year owing to the COVID-19 outbreak. This could prove to be a major setback to the tourism industry of the state, as it is largely dependent on the mega festival to fill its coffers.
Tourism Advisor H Khehovi Yepthomi recently told mediapersons that if the situation does not improve soon, the state will not be in a position to host the festival. He said that small-scale theme-based events like Made in Nagaland, Crafted in Nagaland, Flowers of Nagaland could be held in the district headquarters of the state during the Hornbill season. He further added that the situation would once again be studied in October-November. Yepthomi further added that the tourism sector of Nagaland is prepping for a steady reopening and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) would soon be finalized.
Thousands of people visit Nagaland each year to take part in the festival that is held at various spots across the state that become quite crowded with the influx of tourists. However, it is very unlikely that a similar rush will be witnessed this year due to the ongoing pandemic situation.