Chapchar Kut

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Chapchar Kut
Observed byEthnic Mizo
TypeMizo festival
SignificanceSpring festival. 1 day long
Date2 March

The Chapchar Kut is a festival of Mizoram, India.[1] It is celebrated during March after completion of their most arduous task of jhum operation i.e., jungle-clearing (clearing of the remnants of burning). It is a spring festival celebrated with great favour and gaiety.

Origins[edit]

Chapchar Kut is estimated to have started in 1450–1700 A.D. in a village called Suaipui. Chapchar Kut was discouraged when the missionaries came to Mizoram as it was felt that it did not adhere to Christian values, however, it was revived in 1973 on a mass scale sans animistic practice and cheraw dance.[2] Chapchar Kut is now held annually in the Month of March. Chapchar Kut is one of three annual festivals of the Mizos celebrated to mark three different stages of the agricultural cycle. The other two are Mim Kut and Pawl Kut, also revived in the last century.

Celebration[edit]

Chapchar Kut cheraw dance, Mizoram, 2014

Oral traditions say Chapchar Kut was first celebrated in Seipui village in adjoining Myanmar that has a sizeable population of Mizos and their ethnic cousins. Chapchar Kut used to be celebrated to thank the gods for saving the people from harm during the clearing of forest on hill slopes for jhum cultivation at the beginning of a year. The festival used to be observed with a lot of drinking and eating. On the first night the young men and women would dance all night. The women would come dressed wearing a Vakira. Chai dance has its origins in this festival.[3].

Cheraw dance is performed during Chapchar Kut.

Today, the festival is observed in the last part of February or the early part of March when the trees and bamboos felled for jhum are left to dry and the shifting cultivators have time to relax and enjoy.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barthakur, Dilip Ranjan (2003). The Music And Musical Instruments Of North Eastern India. Mittal Publications. p. 55. ISBN 978-81-7099-881-5. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  2. ^ Thanzawna. "Origin of Chapchar Kut". Mizoram.nic.in. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  3. ^ LALTHANGLIANA, B. Culture and folklore of Mizoram. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  4. ^ Hindustan Times. "Egged on: Mizoram festival revives pre-Christian custom". hindustantimes.com. Retrieved 8 March 2016.