The Mim Kut is a spiritual festival held in Mizoram each year and is celebrated with wonderful enthusiasm and eagerness. The festival has wide recognition from across the state and tourism department.
The Mim Kut is a religious festival held in Mizoram, in the North-Eastern State of India, celebrated after the harvest of maize during the months of August and September. It is celebrated for two-days in the entire state by the local residents, with a lot of enthusiasm and joy. This festival is not only about the harvesting of maize; it is also dedicated to the souls of one’s dead ancestors. People remember their dead ancestors, especially the ones who passed away in the previous year and pay homage to them through special prayers and offerings. There is a belief that during this time, the souls of the dead ancestors visit the homes of their descendants. Special offerings are made for the departed souls in the form of fresh vegetables, maize, bread, and necklaces. A part of harvest and even clothes are offered to the departed souls.
Preparations are made much before the onset of the festival. People clean and decorate their homes to welcome the departed souls. Some even place the favourite possessions or food liked their ancestors as a mark of respect to them. Tributes are paid to the souls by following certain rituals and traditions. The first day of the festival is totally devoted to the departed souls, as people try to pray and please them with the religious rituals.
The real celebrations start on the second day when grand festivities begin; people drink, sing, dance and feast. Grand meals are prepared, people get together and enjoy good food; traditional fare is made mostly from bread. Furthermore, several dance and song performances are organized and people enjoy and have fun. There is enough scope of entertainment that is offered by these festivals. One can even enjoy the local cuisine during this time which is especially prepared during this festival.
In Mizoram, the word ‘kut’ is used for festivals. There are in all three ‘kuts’ in Mizoram, all dedicated to agriculture. The kuts are celebrated with great enthusiasm; traditional dances and songs are part of all celebrations.
The three kuts are –
The Chapchar Kut – The Chapchar Kut Carnival is held during spring time that falls around March every year. It is one of the grand carnivals held in the state which is visited by people from all across the country. Traditional dances are performed accompanied with conventional songs; the dances performed during this festival have gained international recognition.
Pawl Kut – The Pawl Kut festival is celebrated in December, before the advent of spring which brings in more colours to the carnival. It is celebrated after the crop’s harvest and is a sort of ‘harvest thanksgiving festival.’ It is a colourful harvest festival that is accompanied with ballets, songs and fun. Meat and egg form a customary part of the feast for the festival.
Mim Kut – The Mim Kut is usually celebrated during the months of August and September, after the harvest of maize, amidst extensive fanfare and merrymaking.