Festivities, prayers as India rings in 2009

January 1st, 2009 - 6:22 pm ICT by ANI  

Kolkata/ New Delhi/ Amritsar/ Varanasi, Jan 1 (ANI): People across India took part in festivities and prayers on Thursday to herald an auspicious start to the year 2009.
While it was a quiet New Year in Mumbai that witnessed attacks, festivities were muted in other parts of the country as well. But people came out in large numbers to pray for a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
Residents in Kolkata offered prayers to the rising Sun on the banks of river Hoogli.
People prayed that the financial trouble that loomed over second half of 2008 should not be there in 2009.
“I hope that the New Year is prosperous for us. The losses that we have incurred this year, should not be there this year,” said Parikshit, a resident of Kolkata.
Devotees in New Delhi thronged a temple dedicated to saint Sai Baba in large numbers. Devotees said that New Year 2009 is auspicious as it begins on a Thursday, a day dedicated to him.
“I have come here to offer prayers to Sai Baba. Thursday is his day and that is the reason why there are so many devotees,” said Vikas, a devotee.
Braving the winter chill, devotees in Amritsar took a dip in the holy pond outside the famous Golden Temple.
Hira Singh, a devotee, said, “We celebrate the New Year at the footsteps of the Lord himself. We start the year from here only.”
Varanasi hosted grand prayers in the morning on the banks of River Ganges.
Thousands of Indian devotees as well as foreign tourists took part in the prayers.
“To see the people celebrate on the banks of Ganges, to see how they interact with the river, to see them binding and bringing in the New Year. It is very different from Australia,” said Mary, a tourist.
People in India believe that the blessings of the Gods should be sought before beginning anything new, more so the New Year. (ANI)

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