Festivals in Mizoram mostly centers around the harvest seasons. However, several other general festivals are also celebrated by the people of Mizoram with great enthusiasm and vigor. Since cultivation is the mainstay of the people of Mizoram hence most of the festivals are celebrated to reflect the fertile bliss of the place. The term Kut means festivals. As such the names of all the festivals of Mizoram are followed by this common term of Kut.
Chapchar Kut is another significant festival of Mizoram which is celebrated at a time when trees and bamboos are kept for drying so that these can be burned for jhum cultivation. It is believed that Chapchar Kut existed in the land of Mizoram from the era of 1450 to 1600.
Once the weeding of the crop land is over, the festival of Thalfavang Kut is celebrated in Mizoram. Followed in the month of November the Thalfavang Kut festival has become an inherent part of Mizoram culture.
Christmas is another major festival which is celebrated by the people of Mizoram with merriment. From kids to aged people all inhabitants of Mizoram engross themselves from the previous night of Christmas in the festive spirit. The Christmas festivals last for three long days in Mizoram.
As a whole the festivals of Mizoram reflect the rich cultural aura of the place.
Mim Kut is one of the important festivals in Mizoram, which is celebrated in the months of August and September. When the maize crop is ready for harvesting, the people of Mizoram indulge themselves in the festival of Mim Kut. A memorial platform is built during Mim Kut festival where people of Mizoram gather to pay respect to those who died in the preceding year. Apart from maize, vegetables, apparels, accessories and bread are offered to the soul of the deceased during the Mim Kut festival in Mizoram. This is done with the age-old belief that the dead people come to their dwelling places while the festival is celebrated in Mizoram.
Zu, a special type of beer prepared from rice, is a customary drink which is consumed by the inhabitants of Mizoram on the occasion of Mim Kut. Apart from rituals the Mim Kut festival of Mizoram also involves dance and song performances by the tribal communities of the place. There are elaborate arrangements of feasting during the days on which Mim Kut is celebrated in Mizoram. Farming activities are the prime source of sustenance of the people of Mizoram. The hilly terrains of Mizoram are suitable for jhum cultivation. Majority of local inhabitants living in Mizoram are engaged in this form of cultivation. As such, the festivals of Mizoram reflect the spirit of the local cultivators who till, sow and reap the benefits of land every year.
Mim Kut is an apt symbolization of the deep faith of the inhabitants of Mizoram in the revisit of the deceased souls as well as the enjoyment of the maize harvest.
Pawl Kut is a part of thanksgiving ceremony, which is celebrated in Mizoram when the harvesting activities are completed by the local inhabitants.
An integral part of the traditional festivals in Mizoram, Pawl Kut involves dancing, singing and merriment by the villagers of Mizoram. The rice beer, which is locally known by the name of Zu, is consumed by all the people of Mizoram to celebrate Pawl Kut festival. Chawnghnawt is a distinct trait of Pawl Kut festival in Mizoram. As an old custom Chawnghnawt requires the mother and her children to sit on a memorial platform constructed specially for the Pawl Kut festival. While the mother feed her kids with various palates of meat and egg preparations, the child does the same. This way both of the mother and child feed each other while the other villagers stand around the platform.
The origin of Pawl Kut tells of an interesting event which took place many centuries back in Mizoram. When the people of Mizoram used to inhabit the land on the eastern corner of river Tiau, famine occurred continuously for three years. However, there was an exemplary crop yield in the fourth year and people took it as blessing of the God. In order to offer their gratitude to the Almighty, people of Mizoram initiated the tradition of Pawl Kut festival in the place.
Today, Pawl Kut is counted as one of the main harvest festivals of Mizoram.
Chapchar Kut is celebrated by the local people of Mizoram in the month of March every year. During the seven whole days of Chapchar Kut the Mizoram people engross themselves into an infinite aura of mirth and merriment. As one of the oldest festivals in Mizoram Chapchar Kut has a distinctive identity. Dance and music competitions are an integral part of the Chapchar Kut festival in Mizoram. The various tribal communities inhabiting the land of Mizoram perform the local dances wearing colorful dress apparels. It is said that in the ancient times Chapchar Kut was celebrated by the local inhabitants by indulging in drinking sessions. However, with the passage of time the focus of Chapchar Kut has been shifted to music.
The folk music of Mizoram plays a vital role in providing a rejuvenating look to the Chapchar Kut festival. Since the tribal youths of Mizoram are blessed with melodious vocal chords, hence the music performances during Chapchar Kut are the prime attractions of the festival.
People of Mizoram earn their livelihood through cultivating the fertile lands. Jhum cultivation is the major source of farming which is practiced by almost all the Mizoram peasants. Cutting of trees for making space for jhum is a common practice of Mizoram people. The chopped trees are kept under the sun for several days to be dried. After drying these trees are finally burnt. When the trees are kept for drying purposes the cultivators of Mizoram take this opportunity to celebrate the festival of Chapchar Kut.
Ziapur Ni, being the final day of the Chapchar Kut festival, is ended with a sumptuous feast which is savored by all the diverse communities of Mizoram.
Thalfavang Kut festival is considered as one of the most significant festivals in Mizoram. Completion of weeding of the crop fields to make them suitable for harvesting activities is a primary farming operation of the cultivators of Mizoram. Thalfavang Kut is celebrated at a time when this weeding of the farm lands in Mizoram is completed by the cultivators.
The entire region of Mizoram becomes a vibrant platform of enjoyment and enthusiasm when Thalfavang Kut is celebrated in the place. With sumptuous feasts the Mizoram people engross completely in the festive spirit of Thalfavang Kut. Another interesting trait of the festival of Thalfavang Kut is that it provides a scope to the tribal communities living in the far flung corners of Mizoram to represent their inherent cultural characteristics. Otherwise inhabiting remotely approachable places, the different tribes and sub-tribes of Mizoram get a pulsating base during the Thalfavang Kut festival where their talents are viewed by other people.
In a way, Thalfavang Kut is not only a festival but also an opportunity to showcase the hidden cultural traits of the tribes of Mizoram.
Christmas in Mizoram
Christmas in Mizoram is regarded as one of the biggest celebrations of the place. Held from the 24th to 26th of December, Christmas is followed in Mizoram for three whole days. Since the majority of the Mizoram population belongs to the Christian faith, Christmas festival is followed in the place with much fanfare.
From 24th December itself the celebrations of Christmas start in Mizoram. Every household of Mizoram becomes a part of the festive mood during the three days of Christmas festival. While on the first day of Christmas, people of Mizoram get ready for the final celebration, the second day that is on 25th December inhabitants gather in the local church. Since 25th December is the prime day of Christmas celebration hence on this day people from various corners of Mizoram come to visit the main church of the place. Kids play around the Christmas tree in the evening hours while elder people sit and chat with their share of cakes and snacks. Apart from exchanging wishes, the people of Mizoram also visit the places of their relatives on this day.
On 26th of December the people of Mizoram enjoy the delicacies of a sumptuous feast. Various tribal communities and even sub-tribes participate in this famous feast of Mizoram on the last day of the Christmas festival. The influence of Christianity in Mizoram was initiated in the ninth century when the British missionaries came to the region. Ever since its inception the faith of Christianity has inspired the living style and social customs of the Mizoram people. Today, Christianity is the widely practiced religion of Mizoram. As a symbol of this widely acknowledged acceptance of the faith Christmas is celebrated as one of the prime festivals in Mizoram.
Christmas in Mizoram is an ideal manifestation of the rich heritage of the Christian faith in the place.
Last Updated on : 28/06/2013