Aizawl: Mizoram witnessed a low-key celebration of New Year on Saturday due to protocols put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

However, defying a government order, a section of people burnt fireworks to welcome the new year at midnight, police said.

The thanksgiving ceremony, worship service and prayers were held in churches across the Christian-majority state as part of the celebration.

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

The government has imposed night curfew in Aizawl and other district headquarters from 9 pm to 4 am to prevent gathering of people amid the pandemic.

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,” Zoramthanga said.

The administration has banned firecrackers, sky lanterns and other pyrotechnic materials to ensure peaceful and pollution-free celebration.

However, when only a few minutes were left for the new year to ring in, fireworks lit up the sky in Aizawl.

Police said bursting of firecrackers and display of fireworks were also witnessed in various other towns in different parts of the state.

Though the police did not specifically say whether or not steps would be taken against those who had burnt fireworks, the order warned of action against its violators.

Mizoram had also witnessed a muted Christmas as traditional community feast and congregational singing, which are integral parts of the celebration, were not held due to the pandemic, barring a few exceptions.

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