Celebrating Chapchar Kut 2015: Mizoram
Chapchar Kut, the most important traditional festival of the Mizos was observed across Mizoram on the 6th of March’ 2015 with the biggest celebration being held at the Assam Rifles ground in Aizawl, the capital of the state of Mizoram. The Chapchar Kut is one of the oldest festivals of Mizoram and has a great cultural significance. It is an annual harvest festival celebrated in the month of March. The season is ideal as winter bows down yielding place for spring which reinvigorates nature and brings freshness to human life.Chapchar Kut marks the preparation before the onset of the sowing season and is celebrated during the time when jungles are cleared, bamboos and trees are cut down, and the land is prepared for jhum cultivation. Folk music and traditional dance performances are the major festivities of Chapchar Kut. And people from various tribal communities, from all ages and walks of life come together and participate in this festival.Exuberant performers danced to the tunes of typical Mizo songs at the festival celebrations while traditional dances like Cheraw, Sarlamkai and mass dance called 'Chhaih' were performed by different cultural troupes. The Bamboo dance is one of the major attractions of Chapchar Kut where only women folk take part in it. It is a very interesting dance form where the men folks tap the bamboos and open and close in rhythmic beats as the dancer steps in and out gracefully to the beats of the bamboos. The festival is an amazing sight with people dressed in outfits vibrant in colour and hats made from beads and feathers.One of the main highlights of the festival is the Miss Kut, a beauty pageant held every year during this festival. Local rock bands also performed. Ethnic Mizos from neighbouring states and countries like Myanmar and Bangladesh also participated in the celebrations in Aizawl where Taiwan's senior diplomat, foreigners and domestic tourists from different states also took part. Traditional costumes of Mizo dresses through the years was also paraded.[caption id="attachment_6803" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Miss Kut 2015 (standing in the middle) with 1st and 2nd runners up.[/caption]State Chief Minister Lalthanhawla was the 'Kut Pa' or father of the festival while Art and Culture Minister R Romawia and Chung Kwan Tien, senior diplomat of Taiwan were the 'host' and guest of honour respectively. Chapchar Kut was also celebrated in all the district headquarters and many villages.