Assam Day in India Date in the current year: December 2, 2024

Assam Day in India Assam Day, also known as Sukaphaa Day or Su-Ka-Pha Day (Su-Ka-Pha Divas), is an official holiday celebrated in the Indian state of Assam on December 2. It honors a Dai prince who founded the Ahom kingdom in medieval Assam in the 13th century.

Sukaphaa was a prince of Mong Mao, a Dai state located along the frontier of what is now Myanmar, China and Northeast India. According to Ahom tradition, he descended from the god Khunglung.

Brought up by his maternal grandparents, Sukaphaa was meant to succeed his uncle who ruled Mong Mao and had no male heir. However, the queen eventually bore her husband a son, ending Sukaphaa’s claim to the throne.

According to legend, Sukaphaa’s grandmother said to him, “No two tigers live in the same jungle, no two kings sit on the same throne.” Upon realizing that he would never rule Mong Mao, the prince listened to his grandmother’s word of advice and left the kingdom in search of the lands he could rule.

Most historians agree that Sukaphaa left Mong Mao in 1215 and spent over a decade traveling, stopping at various places on his way. He reached the Naung Yang lake in present-day Myanmar, also known as the Lake of No Return, in 1227 and subjugated local Naga tribes. After that he crossed the Pat-kai Hills and reached present-day Assam in December 1228.

And thus the history of the Ahom kingdom began. Over the next few decades, Sukaphaa conquered new lands, expanding his kingdom. At the time of his death in 1268, the Ahom kingdom was bound by the Disang River in the north, the Naga Hills in the east, the Dikhow River in the south, and the Brahmaputra River in the west.

The rule of king Suhungmung, who reigned from 1497 to 1529, is often regarded as the Golden Age of the Ahom kingdom. Under Suhungmung the kingdom expanded greatly and became a consolidated and inclusive multi-ethnic state. Suhungmung was the first king of Ahom to adopt a Hindu title. It was also during his reign that the Assamese language entered the royal court; it co-existed with Tai for some time before finally replacing it.

The Ahom kingdom remained independent for almost six centuries. It was able to withstand even the Mughal invasion. Everything changed in the early 19th century, when the British began to colonize the Indian subcontinent. Great Britain annexed Ahom in 1826. Following India’s independence in 1947, it became the state of Assam.

The people of Assam are very proud of their history and the fact that the Ahom kingdom managed to expand its territory, fend off conquerors and preserve its independence for centuries. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is an official holiday dedicated to the semi-legendary founder of the Ahom kingdom.

Assam Day, alternatively named Sukaphaa Day, was officially established in 1996 and has since been celebrated annually on December 2 because it is believed that Sukaphaa set foot in Assam in December 1228. The holiday is marked by various ceremonies, cultural festivals, and other festive events and activities held throughout the state.

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Assam Day in India, Sukaphaa Day in Assam, holidays in Assam, holidays in India, Ahom kingdom