Did you know that countries have their unique ways to ring in the New Year? Like the Spaniards – who gobble down 12 grapes at the strike of midnight, on December 31 – each grape, representing a month of the year. In Greece, people hang onions on their doors or indoors as a sign of good health and fertility. Just like these traditions, some in Goa attend midnight services while many end up starting the New Year with dancing and watching the sunrise.
For many, the year 2024 commenced with Goa’s nightingale Lorna Cordeiro’s performance at Cavelossim in South Goa. It was a magical night for Clesito Fernandes, who got to witness the singing of Lorna live and stepping into the New Year dancing and singing to her songs – Bebdo, Pisso and Nachom-ia Kumpasar.
“It was only after Lorna stepped on to the stage that the crowd at Cavelossim woke up and danced into the New Year. I spent the day with my very close friends and family and waited to see the sunrise of the year and made a few resolutions on how I want my life to be this year,” he said. However the traffic that he had to manoeuvre to get to the venue was horrendous.
Roque from Margao, like many, decided to take his family for a drive after midnight mass, but thanks to rash drivers on the road, he was forced to take a U-turn back home. “I wanted to take my family out on a drive towards Benaulim, but the traffic and the rash driving on the roads made my family plead with me to drive back home. I still owe them a drive.”
Goa Police might have been trolled for their message urging people not to go out for morning walks on January 1, but there are many who agree. Candice Gomes from Margao says, “The message might have gotten trolled over the internet, but it’s true. There has always been a saying in my family that one must be extra cautious of the year endings, as a lot of unwanted events take place. It might be true or might not, but it is better to be safe than sorry.”
The beaches too, have been manned by extra force deployed by the Drishti Marine lifesavers. With over-crowded beaches and intoxicated tourists – it was a task to keep it well controlled. However, the locals on the coastal belts of Baga-Calangute-Candolim had a sleepless night. Why? The music wouldn’t stop.
A resident from Calangute, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We are very irritated with the sound pollution that is being caused. If we complain we become the bad neighbours, so for New Year’s we had to put up with the loud music. We have informed the people in power, but it’s of no help.”