Me-Dam-Me-Phi to be Celebrated all Over Assam on January 31

The Ancestors Worship among the Ahoms is referred to as the Me-Dam-Me-Phi. Read this article to know about this festival, its significance & its importance.
Me-Dam-Me-Phi to be Celebrated all Over Assam on January 31

Me-Dam-Me-Phi is a festival of the ancestor's worship which is being celebrated all over Assam on January 31 of every year. Considering the significance of the day, the Government declared this day to be observed as a state holiday. This is a very important festival celebrated especially by the Ahoms since the 12th century.

What is Me-Dam-Me-phi?

Me-Dam-Me-Phi is basically the worship of the ancestors among the Ahoms. Literally, 'Me' means offerings, 'Dam' means the ancestors and 'Phi' means god. Thus, it means that offering of oblations to the dead and sacrifices to God. This is an ancient belief that seeks divinity in the dead. All the Tai (Thai) speaking people have had the custom of worship their ancestors as gods in their own way.

The Significance of the festival:

During ancient times, the Ahom Kings used to perform this worship in order to honor victory after the war and to obviate any danger from occurring. For instance, King Siu- huim-mong, King Gadhadhar Singha, King Pramatta Singha, King Rajeswar Singha have worshipped all the Ahom Gods at Charaideo. During Me-dam-me-phi, three Gods: Grihadam, Dam Changphi, and Me Dam Me Phi, the god of heaven, are worshipped and offered gifts. A public ceremony for Me-dam-me-Phi has taken place in Charaideo, Assam for over 400 years. Charaideo was the first permanent capital of the Ahom kingdom from the 13th century and was the burial site for the kings of the Ahom dynasty.

According to the belief of Ahom, the ancestors soon turn to gods, when an individual's immortal soul joins with the soul of the Supreme Being.

How the festival is celebrated?

The festival, Me-Dam-Me-Phi is being celebrated all over Assam communally each year on January 31 especially in the regions of Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, and Sivasagar where the Ahom population is at maximum. The unique things about this festival are that it is not only celebrated by the Ahom but other communities of Assam also participate in it. This is a way to show honour and respect to their ancestors. The people in this festival worship three Gods and also offer gifts namely Grihadam, Dam Changphi, and Me Dam Me Phi, the god of heaven. Everyone organizes get together and participate in the festival by organizing various cultural events like drama, dance, and music in the evening. The rituals and customs are performed intimately by the members of the families which usually takes place in the kitchen. A pillar is formed which is known as Damkhuta and is being worshipped with things like homemade wine, mah-prasad (beans and chickpeas), and rice with meat and fish.

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