Asom Divas, which is also known as Sukapha, is considered as a regional public holiday in Assam. The festival is celebrated annually on December 2 with great fervour.
The people of Assam started celebrating this festival in 1996 to celebrate the advent of the first Ahom king Sukaphaa from the Ahom Kingdom in Assam. 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.
The reason behind celebrating Asom Divas in Assam has its roots in history. The Ahom Dynasty was formed by Chaolung Sukhapha, a prince of the Tai State of Mong Mao which is currently situated in Ruili in Yunnan, China.
According to the legend, the cousin of Prince Sukhapha was not willing to give away the throne for the latter and hence was creating a lot of obstructions. This family dispute made the Prince head to the Patkai Mountains of Assam.
His advent became the foundation date of the Ahom Kingdom and in no time, people started treating Sukaphaa as their God, courtesy his bravery and courage with which he led his Kingdom.
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.
They reside in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh as well, Karbi Anglong and Lohit districts, being most popular among them.
1. Cultural Dance and Music. 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.
2. Award Ceremony. After the cultural dance and music performances come the award ceremony wherein the Chief Minister of Assam gives awards and rewards to the winners.
3. Procession. 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.
Women. Assamese women wear a traditional dress that is a combination of Muga Riha and Mekhela Chado which are mostly hand-loomed and beautifully designed. It is a two-piece attire with a chadar or muga riha that is for the upper body and Mekhela or a long skirt which is for the lower portion of the body.
Men. The men usually wear dhoti or Suria and chadar which is also called Seleneg.
Food. The Assamese people are mostly non-vegetarian and count rice as a staple food item. Assamese dishes are delicious and less spicy. The popular delicacies of Assam include fish, chicken, duck, pigeon and pork.
Patot Diya Maas is widely popular there which is made with baked fish wrapped in fresh leaves of banana. Machor Tenga or fish curry and dried fish are other popular dishes of Assam.
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. There are different ways to get there and here are the easiest of them all.
By Air. The nearest airport to Assam is the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport. And, from here the Cultural Centre is approximately 22 kilometres away which will take nearly 1 hour or more via car or bus.
The airport is well-equipped, and flights from major cities of India arrive here frequently. In fact, international flights from Hong Kong also take off from and land at this airport.
By Road. The road connectivity of Assam with its neighbouring states and cities is smooth. Assam has its own bus corporation too, to serve the state via ASTC or Assam State Transport Corporation.
Volvo Bus Services are also available from Paltan Bazaar, Guwahati Railway Station and Rupnath Brahma Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport.
By Rail. Assam has great rail connectivity laid out conveniently across India. The nearest railway station to reach Assam is the Guwahati Railway Station which is well-connected via frequent train services from and to the different parts of India.
There are trains such as Avadh Assam EXP, ANVT AGTL RAJ, AGTL Sundri EXP and NDLS SCL PSK EXP that run from Delhi to Guwahati. If you are travelling from Mumbai, then you can consider trains such as LIT KYQ AC EXP, Guwahati EXP and Karambhoomi EXP.
You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here
02 December 2020
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