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Party fever after freezing splash
- From ice-cold dips to gigs, Shillong & Guwahati plan big for year’s last night

Guwahati, Dec. 30: The adventurous Germans love to go skinny dipping in ice-cold waters on Christmas. A handful of bravehearts in Shillong will follow suit on New Year’s eve.

Stripped to their waist, they intend to plunge into a small stream near Shillong peak at the stroke of midnight and croak: “Happy Brrrrrr! New Brrrrrrrrrrrrr! Year!”

The plan is as grand, and as crazy as it can get. A few minutes before the clock strikes 12, the revellers will gather on the bank of the Sangmein, a small stream near Shillong Peak, and prepare for the first splash of 2008.

Revellers had tried it out in swimming pools in previous years. This time, they decided to go the whole hog and chose the stream.

With the temperature likely to hover around five degrees Celsius, it promises to be one hell of a swim.

“The weather will be freezing cold, no doubt. But those who are willing to brave the biting cold can participate in the midnight swim,” said Michael Syiem of Young Sports Club, which is organising the event.

After the swim, the venue of the celebration will shift to Police Bazar, where American rock band Difference United will restore the mercury level with some piping hot music.

Adding colour to frozen cheeks will be bands Akia, Colors, Nova Sanctum and Snowhite. “We want to make it the biggest midnight event of the year,” said another member of the club.

Then there will be The Telegraph 31st Night parties, both in Shillong and Guwahati.

While the one in Shillong will be held at Cloud Nine, the Guwahati venue is Crest. Dance troupes and DJs from Calcutta and Mumbai will keep the party fever going.

If applications for security received and approved by the Guwahati administration are anything to go by, then the Assam capital is readying for the big party league. “We have received over 20 formal requests so far. We will allow parties only till 12am to ensure smooth celebrations,” said Prateek Hajela, the deputy commissioner of Kamrup (metro) administration.

Bollywood singer Labh Januja — with hits like Mauja hi mauja from Jab We Met and O Yara Dhol Bajake under his belt — will perform at a bash at the Spring Valley Resort in Tepesia.

The first amusement park of the region, Accoland, has also decided to cash in on the festive spirit and is holding a three-day winter carnival, beginning today.

The only spoilsport could be the 12am deadline in Guwahati, though the administration insists it is for everyone’s good.

Those who wish to extend the celebrations beyond that can drive to Shillong, where the night will surely be forever young.

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