At the end of February, when winter starts receding,
the Mizos prepare the land for fresh planting. There
are few days of relaxation before the serious business
of sowing starts and that is when the Chapchar Kut festival
is celebrated with gaiety and fervour. A spring festival,
this is the most important festival and the only one
regularly observed during the first week of March in
On this day people of all ages, young and old, men
and women dressed in their colorful costumes and distinctive
head gears and jewelries, assemble and perform various
folk dances, singing traditional songs accompanied by
beating of drums, gongs and cymbals.
They dance in joyous celebration of life, each team
displaying the best of its region. These are generally
group dances with a lot of bonhomie and courting woven
into them. Some dances are strictly martial danced by
strong virile warriors with their weapons and trophies.
One dance perennially popular is the Cheraw or the
"bamboo dance" so called as long bamboo staves
are used for this dance. This is the most colourful
and distinctive dance of the Mizos requiring skill and
an alert mind to perform.
The other main dances performed during Chapchar Kut
are Khuallam, Chheihlam, Chai and Sarlamkai.
"Khual lam" is an auspicious dance performed
by a group of dancers celebrating new beginnings. It
is also a welcome dance for guests during community
festivities. To attain a position of distinction, a
Mizo had to go through a series of ceremonies and perform
many feats of heroic deeds. These ceremonies are always
accompanied by a feast and to this feast, friends from
nearby villages are invited - hence, Khuallam is the
dance for the visitors or guests.
The "Chheih lam" is another community dance
performed by both men and women. The war dance "Solakia",
a prerogative of the male population of the community,
is accompanied by rhythmic beating of the drums.
Exhibition and sale of indigenous Handloom and Handicraft
products and other tourist attractions like flower show,
food festival, musical competition and different traditional
games are also organized during the Chapchar Kut festival.