Aizawl: Even though religious ceremonies form an integral part of New Year celebrations in Christian-dominated Mizoram, the people of the tiny Northeastern state on Wednesday joined the world to welcome the new year with firecrackers and lights, defying the state government’s ban on bursting of firecrackers during festive season.
Earlier in December, the state government had issued an order banning import, sale and use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic materials to ensure tranquility and enable people to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a peaceful and pollution-free environment.
However, denizens of the state could not totally give up the age-old practice of welcoming the New Year with a ‘crash-boom-bang’ celebration. When only a few minutes were left to ring in the New Year, fireworks lit up the sky in Aizawl making a spectacular scenery.
For about two hours, sound of firecrackers and crackling rockets filled the air to celebrate the onset of the new decade. “Bursting firecrackers and spectacular display of fireworks are a significant way of bidding farewell to the old year and welcoming and celebrating the new one, which is more or less a custom deeply rooted in Mizo society,” a local resident, John Renthlei, said.
He said that the act was not a deliberate attempt to defy the government order. “I hope the government will understand the sentiments and mood of the people,” Renthlei added.
Opinions differed on the use of fireworks. While some argued environmental and health concerns, others said it is a universal practice to light up the moods.
Sources said that bursting of firecrackers, crackling rockets and display of lights were also witnessed in other towns of the state on Wednesday night despite the ban.
Speaking with EastMojo, Aizawl district superintendent of police C Lalruaia said there were no untoward incidents during the celebration, except a forest fire at Durtlang area caused by sky lanterns. He said that at least five people were arrested for allegedly selling firecrackers and other explosive materials on Wednesday night.
Police sources also said that at least 23 people from Assam were arrested on Wednesday night for not possessing valid Inner Line Permit (ILP).
Meanwhile, deputy inspector general of police (Northern Range) Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said that the government has tightened security across the state. He said that the state police have remained on a round-the-clock vigil by conducting patrolling across the state.
Meanwhile, New Year was celebrated across the state with religious fervour as well. All churches held service and prayers to give thanks to the almighty for the New Year.
Community feasts were also organised by some churches to celebrate New Year. The celebrations will continue on Thursday during which most of the churches will organise community feasts, besides church service and congregation.
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