Chapchar Kut is celebrated after completion of the cutting of jhums. It is a thanksgiving festival. The villagers faced many dangers and difficulties while cutting down dense forests with their simple Daos and axes. After achieving success in clearing grounds for agriculture, they pray to God and complete some offering rituals in the form of thanksgiving. They organise a big feast in the month of March to celebrate the success in jhum cutting. The festival continues for seven days and even more if the villagers could afford it. A few days before the day of the festival is fixed, the hunting parties from the village go out in the forests and rivers for hunting wild animals, trapping birds and catching fish. On this occasion, Zu - their much-loved drink is brewed in a large quantity.
On the first day of the Mizoram temple festival, the members of the chiefs clan kill pigs for the feast. Pork in big quantities is eaten and lot of Zu is consumed. This day is called Lushai Vawk Tlah Ni, which literally means the day on which the Lushias kill pigs as offerings to the God in temples. The festival is grandly observed in the state with the passionate participation of people from all age groups.
On the second day, members of the other kinfolk in the village kill their pigs for the village feast. On the third day, known as Kut day, Zu is taken in the houses in which someone had died during that very year. On this day before sunset in the evening, people particularly mother and children dressed in their best attire gather in the open space in the village at the Lungdawh, which is a stone platform put up as a memorial to the dead. They bring with them rice, boiled eggs and meat after making a short prayer to their tribal God. In case anyone does not want to have the food, one would try to force the food down the throat of his friend. This ritual is known as Chhawnghnawt. After sunset the young boys and girls assemble together in the houses of well-to-do-villagers and spend the night in drinking, singing and dancing.
The next day is known as Zupui Ni or the day of drinking a particular type of liquor called Zupui which is brewed from well-husked rice. In the evening before sunset, young men and girls dressed in their best would gather in the open space of the village for singing and dancing. They form a circle for the sacred dance in which the young men give their arms across girls and stand alternate between the boys. Within the circle, the drummer or gong beater stand and chant while the young people sing and move slowly keeping time with the song. This dance is known as Chai dance and the children of the village go on serving the dancing boys and girls Zu of the best variety in bamboo cups, during the dance.
The next day is called Zuthingni that marks the day of drinking a special type of Zu. On this day of this particular Mizoram temple festival, a general dance is performed in the village where all the villagers pray for a while. Zu drinking is innate in any kind of religious celebration in Mizoram. The dance of the villages continues day and night until the Zu supply runs short. The last day of this Mizoram temple festival is known as Ziapur ni or the day of rest after eating and drinking. On this day, people relax after hectic days of festivals. They believe going back to the jungle after these religious ceremonies would bring them bad luck.
The Mizoram temple festivals are entirely tribal customs centric and till date these festivals are widely prevalent in the state.
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