Mrunal Manmay Dash

The ‘Zero Night’ was celebrated with much fanfare in Odisha as the clock ticked 12 am on Monday.

People from all walks of life engaged in New Year revelries as the 2024 was accorded a grand welcome in the Odisha Capital Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Puri.

While children and youths in the slums of the Twin Cities celebrated the New Year with music, dance and dazzling firecrackers on the road, others took it to their nearest pubs and clubs to engage in the celebrations.

“I wish all a very happy new year. We are here to celebrate. Tomorrow is Monday and business is as usual. So we have got this only night and we want to make it memorable,” said a partygoer in a city pub.

“I have come with my family and enjoying a lot. I am glad to start the New Year on a happy note. We hope to enjoy the whole year like this,” said a woman in a pub in Cuttack.

The New Year dawned in Puri and Konark with new promises and hope for the people as thousands of them enjoyed the sunrise on the beaches of Puri and Chandrabhaga. The Grand Road in Puri saw a sea of devotees as they queued up to avail darshan of Lord Jagannath in Srimandir on the first day of the Year.

As per the earlier announcement, Pahuda ritual was finished at 11pm in Srimandir last night and the door was opened for the devotees at 1 am.

It is pertinent to mention here that new rules of conduct will be enforced in the Srimandir from today. Devotees will have to wear decent clothes in order to enter the 12th century shrine and a complete ban on gutkha and pan (Beetle) has also been put in place in the Srimandir starting today.