Chapchar Kut Festival of Mizoram

31 Oct 2018

Mizoram- a land rich in culture and heritage is an appealing treat to the eyes. Situated on the extreme southern side of Northeast India, it is a really mesmerizing state and heaven to explore which will leave you with unforgettable memories, amazing experiences, and peace. It shares two-thirds of its borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar. The capital of Mizoram is Aizawl which is the largest city of the state. With a lump of brilliant architecture and inherent artistry like Solomon’s temple, Mizoram state museum, Durtlang hills, Tamdil lake, and many others, it gives a heads up for nature’s feast and is worthy of accolades. It is one of the seven sisters of India smeared with luxuriant greenery, fog covered distant hills, sweet-smelling floral views, and an exotic flora and fauna. Having its own charm and surreal beauty, the culture of Mizoram comprises colorful dress codes, musical festivals, and bamboo dance. There are many communities of Tibeto-Burman here which comprise Kuki tribal groups like pawi, lushai, zou, ralte, and hmar. For the feeling of togetherness, they all prefer to be called as Mizo. The most common language used here is Mizo Tawng.

Festivals in North East India are either related to agriculture, beginning of a new year or Buddhism. One of the most famous among all is Chapchar Kut which is a spring festival celebrated after completing the task of clearing bamboo forests for jhum cultivation. It is considerably the oldest festival of Mizoram. Chapchar means drying of bamboo while kut means festival. So, this festival indicates the coming of the spring season. It is the biggest festival of Mizos enjoyed with great fervor and gaiety.

Celebrated annually during the month of March, this festival lasts for a week. Everyone enjoys participating in it irrespective of age, gender or community. It is one of the most colorful festivals of Mizoram. People dress up in traditional costumes paired with distinguishing head gears and jewelry and participate in bamboo dance which is also known as Cheraw. In this folk dance, men sit on the ground for adjusting and tapping long bamboo sticks while women dance on them as per the rhythm. This interesting dance is accompanied by traditional songs, beating of drums, gongs, and cymbals. The most famous traditional dress of this state is called Puan. Puanchei is the dress which Mizo women wear during festivals. Another very attractive and widely-worn dress is kawrechi which comprise a handmade cotton blouse and Puanchei.  This year, it was graced by Myanmar chin state chief minister Sailai Lianluai. After having a meeting under the leadership of its art & culture minister R.Romawia, a theme was set for the festival- sem sem dam dam, ei bil thi thi which means sharing things equally with love. A no-vehicle zone was set up along with a free parking zone for participants also. The festival was promoted through billboards, hoardings, and Chapchar Kut print T-shirts. A souvenir was also released on the occasion along with a photo exhibition that was held at Vanapa hall. It also comprises a handloom and handicraft exhibition which was held at AR ground volleyball court. The celebration also included cultural troupes and artists, a costume parade, and various Mizo traditional games.

After performing all the ceremonies, celebrations move towards the feast to which friends from nearby villages are also invited to join along. The last and the most hilarious dance form is Chai where all the people join, stand in circles and sway from side to side on the slow-moving tune of Mizo songs. Other festivals of Mizoram include Thalfavang Kut, Anthurium, Khuado Hut, Mim Kut, and Pawl Kut. Thalfavang festival is also related to harvesting and is celebrated in the month of November. Indicating the onset of harvest, various tribes and communities gather together for a special feast and other cultural activities, traditional games, dance, and music. Celebrating Anthurium has an objective of promoting tourism. It is celebrated in the month of September every year in a small village Reiek with folk dances, music, and cuisines. Khuado Hut is celebrated after the completion of harvesting for Thanksgiving. It marks the consolidation of a mega feast with the participation of the entire village. Khua depicts darkness and lord of Paite Zomis while do refers to defending oneself. Mim Kut is like a vibrant, colorful and happening cultural fiesta which continues for four to five days. It is basically a Maize festival with great anticipation and extravagance. Pawl Kut is also related to harvesting and is celebrated for the great harvest of straw thus also called straw festival. It is a thanksgiving festival in which rice beer is primarily consumed.

Mizo festivals are not very flashy but are unique, simple and diverse with a rich culture and heritage. You can plan your holidays in this beautiful place and cultural land as places here are worth to visit. You will surely enjoy all the festivals, exhibitions and sale of native Handicraft and Handloom products, flower shows, food festivals, music competitions, and traditional games.

Mizoram is one the most beautiful and serene tourist attractions. Tourists shun the northeastern hill states for peace, colorful festivals, mesmerizing landscapes, mouth-watering cuisines, and wealthy nature. The people of this state are very helpful and hostile. You must consider this amazing land while planning your next trip if you want to feel closer to nature. You can only feel the beauty and purity of this place if you visit here. So, start packing your bags and do visit Mizoram once to have a pleasant lifetime experience.

By: Preeti Narula

Content: Wikipedia

Posted By - Assistant Editor