What is Me Dam Me Phi?


Me Dam Me Phi is one of main religious ceremonies of 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 suggests that first Ahom King, Swargadeo Sukapha, performed Me Dam Me Phi at Charaideo. After 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 20th centuary, when Assam Government fixed January 31 as the day of Me Dam Me Phi and announced it as a Government holiday. Assamese people, specially the Tai Ahom community in Upper Assam, now celebrates 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 Ahom community of Assam is starting to recognize their traditional culture.

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