OriginBefore the arrival of Christianity, the Mizo people, along with the other tribes and communities of the north-east were animist and naturist. They worshipped elements of nature that gave them their means of livelihood. As these elements were their gods, they showed gratitude in the form of such festivals. Chavang Kut is thus celebrated to mark the end of the harvesting season, to thank the gods for their blessings, and to rest and relax before the next agricultural cycle begins. That is why it is named so, for chavang means “autumn” and kut means “harvest”.
How Chavang Kut is CelebratedIn the olden days, the celebration of Chavang Kut included many rituals and lasted days. The village priest would distribute ju (rice beer) to the people, after performing the main rites. Then, everyone would join in the festivities, and there would be much singing, dancing, and merry-making. Sports competitions and feasts were also organised. With the coming of Christianity and subsequent brush with cultures of the outside world, the festival underwent a few changes. But even its evolution does not take away its innate significance. For one thing, though the Kuki people have adopted Christianity as their religion, they can still honour a higher being for the blessings they receive for their harvest. That is why Chavang Kut is often likened to Thanksgiving. The pastors can also be said to have taken over the role of the village priest.
Today, Chavang Kut celebration lasts for two days. The highlight of the festival is the grand finale of the second day: the Miss Kut beauty pageant, which includes performances from many talented music artists. It is organised in a grand manner, supported by people from various communities, and attended by the top dignitaries of the state. Although it is a much more modernised version of its former self, it remains a formidable festival for that reason: it effectively blends the old with the new.