Mizoram witnessed a low-key celebration of New Year on Saturday due to strict protocols placed to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Security has been tightened and strict surveillance was maintained by district administrations to ensure a peaceful celebration, police said.

As usual, thanksgiving ceremonies, worship services and prayers were held in churches across the state on Saturday and Sunday as part of the celebration.

However, churches in the state capital Aizawl and towns (district headquarters) could not hold mid- night services on Friday night to bid adieu to the outgoing year and welcome the new one due to curfew.

The government has imposed a night curfew in Aizawl and other district headquarters from 9 pm to 4 am due to COVID-19.

Chief minister Zoramthanga greeted the people on the occasion of New Year.

“My greetings for a blessed 2022 for all!,” he tweeted.

The chief minister lauded the bravery and resourcefulness of the Mizo people in their united fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I look forward to a brighter year, a brighter #Mizoram in 2022. Happy New Year 2022 and may God bless you all,” he said.

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Defying a prohibitory order, the jubilant denizens on Friday joined the world to welcome and celebrate the onset of new year with firecrackers and fireworks.

The government has banned firecrackers, sky lanterns and other pyrotechnic materials to ensure peaceful and pollution-free celebration. The central executive committee of Young Mizo Association (CYMA) has also urged people to refrain from bursting firecrackers and other fireworks.

When only a few minutes were left for the new year to ring in, fireworks and rockets lit up the sky in Aizawl making a spectacular scene.

Bidding the year and welcoming the new one with a crash-boombang celebration is an integral part of the Mizos’ way of lighting up moods though it has no significant relation with the Christian way of celebrating New Year, a local resident said.

Police said that bursting of firecrackers, crackling rockets and display of fireworks were also witnessed in other towns in different parts of the state.

They said more than 20 people have booked so far for allegedly bursting firecrackers and other pyrotechnic materials.

Persons involved in bursting firecrackers are being traced, they said.

However, the celebrations passed off peacefully and there was no untoward incident from all parts of the state, the police added.

Mizoram had also witnessed a muted Christmas as traditional community feasts and congregational singing, which forms an integral part of the celebration, were shunned due to COVID-19.

Only some churches in rural villages and very few in towns managed to organise community feasts, police said.

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