Kolkata ushers in New Year

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Kolkata, Jan 1 (IANS) Piping hot food, warm greetings and a dash of wintry chill constituted the recipe for the New Year celebrations here on Friday.

Denizens ushered in 2016 at parties and picnics with pizzazz. Thousands gathered at popular tourist spots such as the Victoria Memorial, the Alipore Zoo and Eco Park to relax and rejuvenate.

Pumped up after thumping DJ nights and generous helpings of a wide array of food and beverages on New Year’s eve, youngsters welcomed 2016 with celebrations involving family members on Friday.

Hundreds stayed out the entire night, strolling with near and dear ones at the hep Park Street, the Raj-era locality which doubles up as the party hub of the eastern metropolis.

A heady aroma of baked goodies and confectioneries wafted through the chilly air as party-goers walked through the charming, lit street.

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Along the Hooghly, Prinsep Ghat was abuzz with tourists and locals who enjoyed the view as enthusiasts took to boating rides and cruises along the river.

Officegoers rejoiced with colleagues even as many took the day off. Many families embarked on weekend getaways to the beaches of Digha and the hills of north Bengal.

With the city enveloped in holiday mood, children had a gala time at the amusement parks and cinema theatres.

Lengthy queues of devotees were seen snaking up to the popular Dakshineshwar Kali Temple since dawn.

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

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

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

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