Diwali celebrated across Punjab, Haryana | Chandigarh News


CHANDIGARH: Diwali was celebrated across Punjab and Haryana on Thursday with great fervour, gaiety and enthusiasm. There was a festive spirit in the two states and their joint capital Chandigarh with people thronging the marketplaces for last-minute shopping.
Devotees queued up at temples and gurdwaras across Punjab and Haryana including Chandigarh to pay obeisance.
Diyas (earthen lamps), candles and electric lights dotted houses and people exchanged sweets and gifts on the occasion.
Last year, celebrations had been somewhat subdued due to the raging Covid pandemic.
Security was tightened across the two states and the Union territory, especially in and around vital installations, markets and places of worship, officials said.
The holy Sikh shrine Golden Temple in Amritsar was tastefully illuminated.
It witnessed a huge rush of devotees since early morning who took a dip in its holy pond and offered prayers.
The task force of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee was also deployed in the periphery of the Golden Temple.
”Langar” (community kitchen) arrangements were made for devotees.
Bandi Chhor Divas, the festival which coincides with Diwali, was also celebrated across Punjab.
The festival marks the historical release of the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind, along with 52 kings, from the Mughal prison in 1620.
After his release, Guru Hargobind directly reached the Golden Temple and the holy city was illuminated as people lit ”diyas” to celebrate the occasion.
Meanwhile, in Punjab, detailed instructions have been issued to the authorities concerned to maintain strict vigil on Diwali night so that the government’s directions regarding bursting of only green crackers for two hours — 8 pm to 10 pm — are not violated.
The Punjab government had recently allowed only green crackers for sale and use.
However, the sale and use of any kind of firecrackers had been prohibited in the cities of Mandi Gobindgarh and Jalandhar from midnight of October 28-29 to the midnight of December 31 of 2021 to January 01 of 2022 as the average air quality index for November 2020 of the two cities has remained in the poor category.
In neighbouring Haryana, the state government had on Sunday imposed a ban with immediate effect on the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in 14 of its districts in the National Capital Region while restrictions were imposed in other parts of the state where the average of ambient air quality during November (as per available data of last year) is in “poor” and above categories.
Only green crackers were allowed to be sold in cities and towns where the air quality is in the “moderate” or below category, as the bursting of crackers was permitted only from 8 pm to 10 pm.
Meanwhile, the Chandigarh administration had recently imposed a complete ban on the sale or use of any kind of firecrackers.

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