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Mim Kut Festival
Mim Kut is a regional festival celebrated in the northeastern state of Mizoram. It is basically a harvest festival, which is celebrated after the harvest of maze in the months of August or September. It is one of the most important festivals of Mizoram which has a religious edge to it. The festival generally lasts for two days and is celebrated with much fun and enthusiasm across the entire state.
Significance of Mim Kut
In addition to celebrating the harvesting of maze, the festival of Mim Kut is also dedicated to summoning the souls of the dead ancestors, especially the ones who have passed away in the previous year, and paying homage to them. It is believed that during this festival the souls of dead ancestors visit the homes of their descendants and hence special offerings are made to them in the form of fresh vegetables, maize, bread, and necklaces. It is also a custom to offer a part of the year’s harvest to the dead ancestors. Although it is not compulsory, many people also keep an offering of clothes for the departed souls.
Celebrating Mim Kut
The preparations for the celebration begin beforehand with people making great efforts to clean their homes for welcoming the departed souls. It is also common for people to decorate their homes for this special occasion and even placing the favorite things of their ancestors within their homes as a mark of respect towards them. Preset rituals and traditions are followed while paying tribute to the ancestors.
On the first day of the Mim Kut festival, the rituals of making offerings to the souls of the departed ancestors are carried out. This is done by placing all the offerings on the memorials of the dead ancestors. In addition, the Zu is taken inside the house where someone has died during the past year. Overall, the first day of the festival is totally devoted to appeasing the souls of dead ancestors.The second day of the festival is considered to be the day of celebration. On this day, meals are mostly prepared from bread and people get together to have a hearty lunch consisting mostly of dishes made from bread. There is lot of fun and merriment on the second day of Mim Kut as people enjoy themselves by drinking rice-beer and feasting. In addition there are several song and dance performances along the traditional lines which further add color and fervor to the festivities.
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