Nagaland’s Hornbill festival to be held virtually



State Tourism department on Thursday had announced that the ten-day annual Hornbill Festival would be held in virtual form this year because of the pandemic.

Additional Secretary tourism, Martha R Ritse, said that standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the medical department and home department would be strictly followed since health was of utmost importance and that the number of days for the festival was subject to confirmation.

Ritse also clarified that the notification on October 21 by the tourism department to start preparation for the hornbill festival, was only for annual sprucing of the village and not in the spirit of large gathering for the Hornbill festival, which is held from December 1 till 10.

Reminding the government that they could not stop the virus from entering the state even when the lockdown was imposed, opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) swiftly reacted against celebration of any festival amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NPF issued a statement on Friday and termed the move of the NDPP-BJP coalition government in the state as a ‘suicidal mission’ as Covid cases are spiking up day after day.

“Even if the celebration may be in virtual form, a festival is a festival, and in any festival, celebration without people’s participation, there cannot be any celebration. Therefore, if the government is in the process to celebrate the festival without public participation, then there is no need to hold any celebration,” the NPF said.


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