One of the most important, oldest and the traditional festival of Mizoram is Chapchar Kut. Kut means festival in Mizoram. And the chapchar is connected to all the beautiful activities that are linked with agriculture. The people of Mizoram celebrate this festival grandly and with great pride. The flags colored in white fly high in the air, swaying in the environment and shaking hands with the cold breeze that lies under the vast sky with the atmosphere of the spring. The beatings of the gongs and the bangs vibrated the high hills surrounding Mizoram. There is a huge crowd attending this festival right from children to the energetic youngsters and to the old people from all the age group in thousands of numbers. It is a beautiful time in Assam that has the Rifles parade right that lies in the heart of the people residing here. The chapchar is one of the most joyous festivals celebrated each year. It is such a pride in attending and witnessing the traditional Culture of Mizoram that has the sound of hundreds of gong reverberating in the surrounding and highly enthusiastic youngsters performing in front of everyone on the grounds of Mizoram with the colorful dresses and with all the possible beautiful attires to perform the Cheraw dance and thus a beautiful start for the beginning of the festivals.
Chapchar actually means the festival that is held at the time when the trees and the bamboos have been smashed down and are awaited by the people to get it dry and then will be used for Jhumming. During the period of Jhumming, Mizo people could gather the time for themselves. It is actually the time when these people have nothing to do. They spend their spare time in fishing, gaming, hunting and doing many of the things. The chapchar festival is one of the oldest festivals and it marked its beginning in between 1450 to 1600 A.D. It was the period when the ancestor of Mizoram had inhibited from the lands of Lentlang. During the ancient period, the festival used to last for many days and it used to have the run up that would reach the grand finale. The people used to follow step by step process with the grand celebration. During this festival, each of the villagers used to get involved in the process and has a unique role in the preparation of the festival. Of course the youth used to be very enthusiastic and were leading in each activity of the Chapchar. This festival is designed to have joy, fun, to minimize all the disputes and wars that are in between any relation and all the other differences that lies in between the various communities and needs the time to get settled. The festival has one of the events to settle down the disputes between the married couple and previously it was a taboo for the married couple to attend the festival which later settled down and the married couples were allowed to attend this festival. The festival was enthralled with the number of feast and the various beverages including liquor that helps to maintain the spirit high. They danced all the way long for the entire night and had fun all around. All these beautiful things used to make the festival of the Mizoram very lively and full of energy that gives a soothing effect mentally and physically all around.
The modern way of celebrating the Chapchar festival is quite different; the pattern of having liquor is washed away which was considered to be one of the parcel and the part of the festival. Even though they have washed the fact of drinking liquor during festival, the enthusiasm and the energy is still not low. They celebrate the festival with the same passion and have the same spirit which is very high. In actual, Mizoram is believed to be a dry state since past few years, The Young Mizo Association (YMA) is one of the largest NGO in the state that is combating alcohol and the drugs on the war footing has begin prior to 2 -3 years and they have been playing the chief role in organizing and maintaining the festival of Chapchar Kut but it is not compulsory to have a bottle of rum to enjoy and have fun during the festival. It is now seen that the younger generation of Mizoram have been gathering the people and keeping the spirit high of the Mizos by introducing more and more music in the festival. This was evident that there are dozens of the Mizos youth that comes together in the Chapchar Kut festival. The youth and the crowd present on the Mizos ground go crazy when the pop songs belonging to the Mizoram are played. The funniest part is even the police man and the toddlers who are appointed to keep a watch when the festival starts dancing on the beats.
Chapchar Kut is a true festival of joy and happiness that is spread along the grounds of Mizoram. It’s a symbol of Mizoram that is carried away in the blood of each Mizos that indeed is quite thicker than water.
When it comes for Chai time, this is the time for the last dance; all the people on the ground tap their feet to the fullest. There are many visitors from the country and the neighboring along with some of the international tourist that joins the amazing festival of the Chapchar Kut. The best part of the festival that it has no barriers in the form of cultural, nationality or the regional amongst the people while dancing. But the most appreciable part of the people in Mizoram is the hospitality that they provide to the entire tourist. The people are peace lovers and maintain harmony in the state. It is celebrated in the second Friday of March to celebrate and witness the fun in the Chapchar Kut.