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LAHORE, March 30: The annual Urs of Hazrat Madho Lal Husain began here on Saturday.

The three-day Urs of the Sufi poet is known as Mela Chiraghan or the Festival of Lights because his devotees pay him homage by lighting earthen lamps.

Temporary shops selling earrings, bangles, artificial jewellery, flowers, candles, toys, decoration pieces and earthen pots have been set up along all streets leading to the shrine from the Grand Trunk Road.

Devotees have arrived here from across Pakistan in large numbers to be part of the three-day celebrations.

On the first day of the festival, people gathered around a big fire and prayed for themselves and their families. Various groups recited poetry of Shah Husain and Heer Waris Shah on this occasion.

A parrot show, death well and swings installed in a plot near the shrine remained a centre of children’s attention.

The Punjab Auqaf Department will organise various events to highlight aspects of Hazrat Madho Lal Husain’s life during the celebrations. Booklets on the life and teachings of the saint are available at a stall set up near the shrine. Mela Chiraghan or the Festival of Lights is held in the last week of March every year to mark the death anniversary of Shah Husain, popularly known as Madho Lal Husain.

A group of writers and intellectuals, including officials of the Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture and the Pakistan Punjabi Adabi Board, also visited the shrine after a seminar on saint’s life and teachings.