Kolkata soaks in festivity mood on New Year’s Day

Kolkata, Jan 1 (IANS) Piping hot food, warm greetings and a nip in the air formed the backbone of New Year celebrations here on Sunday.

After staying out the entire night on the last day of the year and taking a stroll at the at the hep Park Street, thousands of citizens came out in a celebratory mood on January 1.

City residents, across all age, race and religion, thronged popular tourist spots such as the Victoria Memorial, the Alipore Zoo, Eco and NiccoPark to relax on the first day of a brand new year.

The buzz doubled up as the occasion fell on a Sunday, allowing almost everyone to take the opportunity.

The long lines of cars and public transport almost took the major roads to a standstill for sometime during the afternoon. The trains and metro rails were packed too as people from suburbs came out in large numbers to get the feel of festivity in the city.

The amusement parks like Nicco Park, Millennium Park, Science City as well as the eternal tourist destinations in the city like the Alipore Zoo and the Victoria Memorial clocked massive attendance as usual.

“We celebrate the new year’s day in Bangladesh every year with much enthusiasm but the celebrations here are unparalleled. I am loving the mood here,” said a Bangladeshi tourist at a city amusement park.

“Introduction of new adventure rides like Sky Diver and discounts at the entry gates have roped in more enthusiasts this year,” said another tourist.

After the Saturday night extravaganza on New Year’s Eve, the crowd again walked through the iconic Park Street where a heady aroma of baked goodies and confectioneries wafted through the chilly air.

The evening seemed like an extension of the week long celebrations on since Christmas, with office goers relaxing with colleagues ahead of a busy work schedule while many families embarked on weekend getaways to the beaches of Digha and the hills of north Bengal.

Lengthy queues of devotees were seen snaking up to the popular Dakshineshwar Kali Temple at the city’s northern suburb since dawn.

Followers of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa gathered at the ancient Kali temple at Dakshineswar for the Kalpataru Utsav, which is celebrated on this day every year in memory of the spiritual guru.

It is believed that Paramhansa had gone into a trance January 1, 1886, and granted enlightenment to his disciples.

To ensure there is no threat to the city’s revelry, police made elaborate security arrangements, such as setting up CCTV cameras at strategic locations.