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Prayers, parties & more!

A feeling of celebration wafted in the Bhubaneswar air on Monday with revellers ready to welcome 2013 with a bang. Fragrant flowers and glittering lights adorned every nook and corner of the state capital.

While the misty morning saw devotees queuing up in multitudes at the temples, the evenings witnessed busy streets with revellers raring to hit the party circuit. There were get-togethers all around to raise a toast to the New Year at the stroke of midnight.

Hundreds of devotees visited every temple in the city. They wished and worshipped before the deities for a safe and prosperous New Year. The prayer hours were also made lenient and extended well beyond the usual noon. Interestingly, there were more youths in the queues than senior citizens.

“This is my final year of engineering. I needed to pray for good scores. Hope my wish is granted,” said Piyush Nanda, a student.

“Since it will be fun and party in the second half of the day, my friends and I decided to start the day on a spiritual note,” said Monalisa Das, a corporate employee.

With offers raining at malls, the crowd only got thicker by the evening. Gift stores, in particular, saw a huge footfall of young crowd.

“Customers bought everything from party decorative items such as streamers, string sprays, balloons and hangings to gift items such as greeting cards, showpieces and lots more,” said Durga, a sales executive at a gift store in Kharavela Nagar.

All the multi-storey buildings, be it malls, hotels, apartments or government offices, were decorated with strings of colourful dazzling lights. Florists who opened their kiosks along the streets a day before enjoyed brisk business.

People also got a chance to let their hair down at the hottest parties thrown at various corners of the city in the evening. ‘Gala Celebration — Temptation Reloaded’ at HHI, Sriya Square bedazzled one and all as Russian dancers put up a fiery show. Entry fee for couples was Rs 4,500 and Rs 3,000 for stags.

‘Enter the 13’ at VITS on Cuttack-Puri Road featured DJ Abhishek and had a laser show and sizzling dance performances as its star attractions. The pocket pinch for couples and stags was Rs 3,500 and Rs 2,000, respectively.

“It is fun when you are with a bunch of friends dancing all night and also get to enjoy delicious snacks and dinner. We will dance till the midnight countdown begins,” said Swadhin Beura at a party in the city.

Big-ticket celebrations were also organised at Swosti Premium, Xstacy, Empires, Pal Heights, Crown and Greenfield. New Marrion hotel, at Ram Mandir square opted for a more mellowed ghazal performance.