People throng public places to make the most of the festivities that have carried on from Christmas
New Year revellers in the city turned out in droves to welcome 2023 without any restrictions on public gatherings or night curfews owing to COVID-19.
Though authorities are on the alert following reports of COVID-19 surge in some countries, people thronged public places on New Year’s eve to make the most of the festivities that have carried on from Christmas.
After the truncated celebrations of the past two years, families and friends hung out till late to bid goodbye to 2022 and ring in the new year. Roads remained crowded as shops stayed open to welcome shoppers and eateries saw good footfall.
In the city, the crowds that began flocking to Kanakakkunnu for a flower show ahead of Christmas did not let up on the New Year’s eve too. Blooms, decorative lights, cultural events, installations, and a food court drew thousands.
Kovalam, the hub of revelries that usually teems with visitors, especially foreigners, witnessed sizeable crowds, mostly domestic tourists and city residents after the pandemic-induced lull. People began flocking to its beaches and restaurants from noon itself.
As night fell, hotels and restaurants kicked off the New Year festivities with DJ parties, entertainment programmes and lavish dinners. The beaches too were teeming with people under the watchful eyes of the police who intensified surveillance to prevent any untoward incidents. A control room, CCTV cameras, police in uniform and mufti were all deployed to keep an eye on the celebrations, prevent drunken revelry and unlawful activity such as use of drugs.
Clubs, hotels and residents’ associations had lined up an array of programmes and dinners to keep guests entertained till the New Year countdown. Prayers were held in various churches, all brightly lit to welcome the new year on a note of peace and joy.