Low key New Year celebration in Shillong, ‘midnight swim’ tries to lift spirit

Shillong, Jan 1: This year’s New Year celebration in Shillong was a low key affair – due to a combination of cold weather and Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the low key celebration midnight masses were held in churches while maintaining all protocols.

Many decided to stay indoors and celebrate the New Year at home.

Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma while wishing the people tweeted, “I pray that 2022 be a year of new hope, new beginnings and of new milestones. May peace, joy and prosperity follow each of you.”

However after a year’s hiatus, due to the pandemic, the annual midnight swim took place to usher in 2022.

The event organised by Forever Young saw former KSU leader and social activist, Michael Syiem who is instrumental in organising the event, take the plunge.

The 24th edition was held at Crinoline Swimming Pool in the city.

According to Syiem, in his Facebook page said the objective of the event was to “welcome the New Year with a prayer to the Almighty for strength to face the challenges.”

Five and half tons of ice blocks were put in the pool and participants were not allowed to take any kind of intoxicants.

Only double vaccinated swimmers were allowed to participate in the event.

A total of 12 participants took part in the event with William Marbaniang, 67 years old being the oldest and the youngest was 19 year old Sameer Chaudhary. Melody War was the lone female participant.

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