LAHORE: As the 973rd Urs celebrations of Hazrat Ali bin Usman Hajvery known as Data Ganj Bakhsh commences today, the district government declares an official holiday on Nov 21.

A public holiday will be observed throughout all the towns of Lahore as all the public, private and educational offices and institutions will remain close.

With the commencement of 973rd Urs celebrations in Lahore, the devotees have started flogging in huge numbers at the shrine of one of the greatest Sufis of sub-continent.

The devotees also danced to the beats of drum and are paying their respects with zeal and zest.

Meanwhile, the Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar also visited the shrine, offered fatiha and laid a floral wreath at the mazaar of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh.

In addition, heavy security arrangements have been made for the three-day Urs celebrations that will conclude on Nov 21.