New Year observed in West Bengal, Kerala, Assam
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Last Updated: Friday, April 15, 2011, 18:36
  
New Delhi: Visits to temples and exchange of sweets on Friday marked the celebrations of the Bengali new year 'Poila Baisakh', Kerala's summer harvest festival 'Vishu' and 'Rongali' Bihu heralding the Assamese New Year.

In poll-bound West Bengal, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee began her day very early by going to the famous Kali temple at Kalighat in Kolkata, taking a short break from her busy campaign schedule.

'Prabhat Pheris' (morning cultural processions) were taken out in many localities, especially in north Kolkata where children danced to the accompaniment of Tagore's songs heralding the advent of 'Baisakh', the first month of the Bengali New Year.

Long queues were seen before restaurants serving Bengali dishes.

Devotees also thronged the Kali temple at Dakshineswar after taking holy dip in the river Ganga to seek blessings for prosperity. The trader community opened new account books after observing rituals.

The Malayali community in Kerala celebrated their summer harvest festival Vishu with traditional fervour.

In wee hours people woke up to see the 'Vishu Kani', the ceremony of looking at auspicious articles such as rice, gold, the glowing seasonal flower 'konna' and fruits and vegetables tastefully arranged in platters.

There was a heavy rush in temples across the state including the famed Sabarimala Ayyappa shrine and Guruvayoor Srikrishna temple.

The festival, which came shortly after Wednesday's polling for the 140-member state Assembly, turned out to be a day of relaxation for politicians who were busy in the month-long campaign.

In Assam, the three-day annual 'Rongali' or 'Bohag' Bihu festival heralding Assamese New Year began with traditional merrymaking and celebrations across the state.

The festival, usually associated with the preparation of paddy fields for the coming sowing season, has moved from the rural ambience to the urban stage with almost all localities in Guwahati organising special cultural programmes.

People enjoyed the lilting Bihu songs to the beating of drums and cymbals which came after the din and bustle of campaigning for the Assam Assembly polls.

PTI


First Published: Friday, April 15, 2011, 18:36


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