Asom Divas 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

Asom Divas is a regional public holiday which is annually celebrated on 2nd December in the Indian state of Assam. This day celebrates the arrival of the first Ahom king, Sukaphaa. 

Ahom kingdom ruled the territory of the Assam state for more than 600 years and this period is considered as the golden period in the history of Assam as during this time only Ahom kingdom was successful in defending its territory against the invading Mughal Empire. 

The people of Assam started celebrating this festival in 1996 when it was declared a public holiday. He was and still is considered the messenger of God. Legend has it that Sukaphaa was a descendant of God Khulung, who appeared on Earth from heaven and ruled the Mong-Ri-Mong-Ram region. 

Event Asom Divas
Date December 2, 2022
Day Friday
Significance The day celebrates the arrival of the first Ahom king, Sukaphaa.
Observed by India

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Asom Divas History: 

Asom Divas, also known as Asom Day or Sukapha Divas, celebrates the legacy of the first king of the Ahom kingdom in Assam and commemorates his arrival in the region in the early 13th century. Chaolung Sukapha, who was a prince from the Tai state of Mong Mao, close to present-day Ruili in Yunnan, China, was forced to migrate after the birth of a cousin blocked his path to his father’s throne. And, after 13 years on the journey and crossing the Patkai mountains, he arrived in Namrup, in the southeast of the Indian state of Assam in 1228, and founded the Ahom kingdom. 

His advent became the foundation date of the Ahom Kingdom and in no time, people started treating Sukaphaa as their God, courtesy of his bravery and courage with which he led his Kingdom. Sukapha was said to have reached Assam in the 13th century with around 9,000 followers according to Arup Kumar Dutta, the author of the book “The Ahoms”. There are several books written solely on Sukapha and the journey he took to Assam some refers to it as a very legendary journey while others call it rather simple but it is sure that Sukapha had to face many obstacles and challenges throughout his journey and after his arrival even more. 

Sukapha is revered for being a strong, courageous and bold leader and he played a vital role in unifying the various indigenous ethnic groups of Assam. He conquered many of the local tribes, though he was smart enough to realise that the people in the tribes he had conquered, outnumbered the Ahom. He put in place conciliatory measures to unite all the indigenous people, treating them all equals and encouraged intermarriage between the Ahoms and other tribes. 

For this reason only, he is widely referred to as the architect of ‘Bor Asom’ or ‘greater Assam’ because of the amicable relationship he developed with the tribal communities living in Assam at the time of his arrival. Sukapha’s reign established the Ahom Kingdom that would rule medieval Assam for the next six hundred years, famously resisting other great powers such as the Mughals. The period of Ahom rule is seen as a glorious chapter in the history of Assam. That’s why his legacy is regarded very high in the state of Assam. 

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Asom Divas Significance: 

This day is very important occassion for the state of Assam and its people. This day also makes the rest of India aware about the historical and cultural significance of this beautiful state. Assam is much more than what meets the eye and this beautiful place looks even better during this vibrant festival. Asom Divas is celebrated at Rabindra Bhawan which is located on Gopinath Bordoloi Road in Guwahati. Overall it serves as day of celebration for all the Assamese people to take pride in their culture and heritage. 

This day is totally about celebrating in honor and legacy of the greatest king of Assam, Sukapha who founded the greatest dynasty, Ahom kingdom in the state’s history. Sukapha’s successful crisscrossing of a diverse group of tribes across several politically sensitive regions is one of his everlasting legacies. Asom Divas helps us see how important unity can be through the lens of Assam’s history. In general Sukapha had a major impact in shaping the modern-day state of Assam and thus his legacy is  celebrated grandly. 

The holiday serves as an exhibition of the beautiful culture of Assam. The day showcases the beauty of traditional dance and music. In this way it also helps in making people outside of Assam understand the importance of Assam’s rich history and culture. As still today, most of the people outside Assam state aren’t aware about the important role which Sukapha and Ahom kingdom played in shaping not just Assam but also whole of the Northeast India. 

As we all know by now, the Ahom Community was founded by the Great King, Chaolong Sukhapha and it still is very much prominent in Assam. Their mother-tongue is the Ahom language and while earlier, the entire community spoke it, now they have started speaking different languages. The Ahom Community is mostly found in the north part of Assam in places like – Sibsagar, Golaghat, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, and Dhemaji. 

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Asom Divas Celebrations: 

The day of Asom Divas starts with beautiful folk music and dance performed by local artists. The major folk dance forms are Bagurumba, Bihu dance, Bhortal Dance, etc. Classical Assamese music is divided into Borgeet and Ojapali which combines narrative singing with dancing. 

After the cultural dance and music performances come the award ceremony wherein the Chief Minister of Assam gives awards and rewards to the winners for their various accomplishments and achievements for the year. 

At the end of the day, there is a grand procession that is organized by the authorities. While it is carried out, people sing local songs in order to praise Chaolung Sukaphaa and wrap up the festival. 

Most Searched FAQs on Asom Divas: 

1. When is Asom Divas celebrated? 

Asom Divas is annually celebrated as a public holiday on 2nd December in the Indian state of Assam.  

2. What does Asom Divas commemorates? 

Asom Divas commemorates the arrival of the first Ahom king, Sukaphaa. 

3. Is Ahom a tribe? 

Yes. The Ahom tribe ruled much of Assam from the 13th century when Sukapha reached Assam, until the establishment of British rule in 1838.

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