KOHIMA: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Saturday enthralled the audience at the opening ceremony of the 19th edition of the Hornbill Festival 2018 in Nagaland. While five skydivers of IAF's Air Devil team took part in the opening ceremony, Air Force teams also carried out paramotoring and skydiving on Saturday morning. In the evening, IAF's Su-30MKI aircraft and Mi-17 helicopter painted the skies blue.
#HornbillFestival : On the momentous occasion of 55 statehood day , IAF celebrated with the people of Nagaland by carrying out Para motoring & Skydiving in the morning.
Followed by Su-30MKI aircraft & Mi-17 helicopter painting the evening skies blue. pic.twitter.com/jp6N34goY7
- Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) December 2, 2018
The hugely popular Hornbill Festival 2018 showcases the rich ancient culture and civilization of Nagaland. The festival this year coincided with the Formation Day of Nagaland.
Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the Hornbill Festival on Saturday. Singh said the festival demonstrates the cultural diversity and civilizational unity of the people. "How each tribe is proudly unique, their cultural richness and yet there is an overwhelming sense of unity among all. This spectacular demonstration of unity in diversity in what India is all about. At the Hornbill Festival I get a glimpse of the Indian spirit of happy peaceful coexistence of the multiplicities," he said.
He said that he visited the Hornbill Festival last year and was so overwhelmed that he felt compelled to attend this festival again this year again. The Home Minister also thanked the Nagaland government for initiating such events in other parts of India including the national capital.
"This will help the countrymen to understand the cultural richness of the Nagas. Folk songs and dances are essential ingredients of the traditional Naga culture. Tradition is kept alive through songs and folk tales and very often romantic and historical themes are sung and stories of famous ancestors told. Seasonal songs, which describe various activities done in a particular agricultural season and war dances are also an intrinsic art form in Nagaland," he said.
An amalgamation of the vibrant Naga culture and tradition, the #HornbillFestival celebrates the uniqueness of #Nagaland. A glimpse from Day 1 of the 19th Hornbill Festival at #NagaHeritageVillage, Kisama. #FestivalofFestivals @rajnathsingh @USAmbIndia @alphonstourism @abumetha pic.twitter.com/e7y49kDNXZ
— Neiphiu Rio (@Neiphiu_Rio) December 2, 2018
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio shared glimpses of the event and called the festival an "amalgamation of the vibrant Naga culture and tradition" and said that it celebrates the uniqueness of Nagaland.
Over the years, #HornbillFestival has become an important tourism event, not only in India but also worldwide. It's acclaimed as one of the best events for showcasing rich Naga culture & traditions, preserved over the years in the form of music, dance, food and culture. #Nagaland pic.twitter.com/8nxZy8k4Dq
— Neiphiu Rio (@Neiphiu_Rio) December 1, 2018
"Over the years, Hornbill Festival has become an important tourism event, not only in India but also worldwide. It's acclaimed as one of the best events for showcasing rich Naga culture and traditions, preserved over the years in the form of music, dance, food and culture," Rio said.