Thousands of people converged at the Harmandar Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple, in Amritsar to offer prayers Thursday on the first day of the New Year."Everyone in our family got up early today (Thursday) and we went to offer prayers at the Golden Temple on the first day of the New Year. For the children, the experience was of a different kind," Hariqbal Singh of Amritsar said.People could also be seen offering prayers at other shrines - gurdwaras, temples and churches - across Punjab and Haryana to mark the New Year.For the youngsters and socialites, the New Year parties started Wednesday evening and were on till early Thursday.While most of the celebrations in Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Patiala, Panipat and Ambala were in clubs, discotheques, night clubs, hotels and restaurants, private parties at homes and in farmhouses were also held.
In Chandigarh, the Sector 17 Plaza, the city's main commercial hub, swarmed with New Year revellers."There was hardly any space to move around last night. There were so many people in Sector 17. My son insisted on seeing the revelry but the crowds put him off," Sanjay Singh, an entrepreneur, told IANS here.Chandigarh Police had a hard time controlling the revellers who created nuisance and police resorted to a mild cane charge in Sector 17 to control the crowd.