Me-Dam-Me-Phi has been one of the most important festivals of the Ahom since their arrival in Assam in the 12th century. It is celebrated on January 31 every year to pay homage to the departed ancestors and memorize their tribute to civilization.
‘Me’ means offerings. ‘Dam’ means ancestors and ‘Phi’ means gods. So while this festival is seen as ancestor worship, the name reflects the Ahom belief that ancestors soon turn to gods, when an individual’s immortal soul joins with the soul of the supreme being.
For households, the ritual remains private and mostly takes place in the kitchen. A pillar called Damkhuta is created, which becomes the focus for worship and to place offerings such as homemade wine, mah-prasad, and rice with meat and fish.
The extraordinary thing about this festival is that it is not only celebrated by Ahoms but also other communities of Assam participate in it. Considering the significance of the day, the Government declared this day to be observed as a state holiday.