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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Amid parties, midnight mass and pujas ring in New Year

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 01, 2013
First Published: 02:15 IST(1/1/2013) | Last Updated: 02:18 IST(1/1/2013)

A midnight mass at Juhu, a special puja at Mahalaxmi and a holy hour at Mahim: amid the loud music and the sound of champagne corks flying off bottles at midnight, the city also prayed for a prosperous and safer New Year.

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Churches, temples and gurdwaras held special rituals on the first day of the New Year, which began at the stroke of midnight.

“The world is facing several problems such as natural calamities and terrorism. We have organised different havans from 6am to 2pm,” said Shiva Krishnan, vice president of the Sankara Mattham at Matunga.

With Angarika Chaturthi, an auspicious day dedicated to Ganpati, falling on January 1 after 95 years, temples have prepared for a large number of devotees. Siddhivinayak temple is expecting lakhs of devotees on Tuesday.

“We will keep the temple open the whole day,” said Subhash Mayekar, chairman of Siddhivinayak Trust, on Sunday. “Mandaps have been built for devotees and the temple will be decorated with colourful lights. Provision for food, water and medical aid has already been arranged on the premises.”

At St Joseph’s church in Juhu, faith is the theme of the year. “All our prayers will be conducted in the name of faith. And the very first day of 2013 is dedicated to Mother Mary so it is dedicated to all women. The respect we have for Mother Mary is the respect every woman deserves,” said Father Denis Pereira.

St Michael’s church in Mahim and Our Lady of Egypt conducted prayers for the holy hour between 11pm on Monday and midnight, followed by the midnight mass.

While St Joseph’s church dedicated the year to women, Sikhs in the city toned down their celebrations in respect for the 23-year-old girl who died after she was savagely gangraped in a moving bus in Delhi.

The Guru Tegh Bahadur Kalgidhar Panchayati, a Sikh association, broke its 27-year-old tradition of bursting fireworks at midnight to as a mark of solidarity. At the Guru Nanak High School, Atishbazi — the firework display — was replaced by people observing a moment of silence for the victim.

“This year, we have decided to avoid loud celebrations because this year our nation witnessed the most brutal murder of a young innocent girl,” said an official from the association. 


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