Me-dam-me-phi Festival, Assam
Me Dam Me Phi is one of the main religious ceremonies of the Ahom people of Assam. In Tai Ahom language, Me means offerings, Dam means the dead ancestors and Phi means Gods. So, Me Dam Me Phi is a ceremony in which offerings are made to dead ancestors and the Dam Chao Gods.
Historical mentions suggest that first Ahom King, Swargadeo Sukapha, performed Me Dam Me Phi at Charaideo. After the fall of Ahom Kingdom, Me Dam Me Phi remained limited to private celebrations. Me Dam Me Phi became a public ceremony only towards the end of the 20th century, when Assam Government fixed January 31 as the day of Me Dam Me Phi and announced it as a Government holiday.
Assamese people, especially the Tai Ahom community in Upper Assam, now celebrate Me Dam Me Phi annually on January 31. It is now more a festival than a religious ceremony. Still, it is a good sign that the Ahom community of Assam is starting to recognize their traditional culture.
Me-Dam-Me-Fi is celebrated all over Assam, particularly in Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur districts with a concentration of the Ahom population besides the capital city Guwahati. The main attraction of this festival is that people of other communities also participate in the community feasts and actively associate with the cultural programs of music and drama in the evening.
Suggested Read: Assam – Culture, and Tradition