Dazzling fireworks, dance parties and mid-night masses in churches marked the onset of the New Year in Goa where thousands of people, including locals and tourists, held celebrations throughout the night to welcome 2020.
People thronged the beaches since Tuesday evening to witness the last sunset of 2019 and revelry continued till the wee hours of Wednesday.
Barring a few cases of drunk driving, no other untoward incident was reported, a senior police official said on Wednesday.
People attended mid-night masses at churches and organised fireworks on the beaches to usher in the New Year in the state, he said.
Ireland”s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, whose father hails from Sindhudurg district of neighbouring Maharashtra, was among those who celebrated the New Year in Goa.
He arrived here on December 30 and is staying at a resort in North Goa district.
A senior police official on Wednesday said, “No untoward incident was reported during the night. Festivities continued till the wee hours.” Checkings were conducted on all major routes leading to various beaches, he said.
“Traffic police registered a few cases of drunk driving. All efforts were made to maintain proper law and order everywhere in the state,” the official said.
Local Christians attended mid-night masses in various churches across the state.
The ceremony welcoming the New Year began in churches at 11 pm, and culminated at the stroke of midnight with the ringing of bells.
Traditional dances were performed by artists and locals at various places, especially in the Catholic-dominated Salcette tehsil of South Goa district.
Revellers started thronging the state”s scenic beaches from Tuesday evening.
A huge rush was seen at Miramar, Calangute, Candolim, Baga, Sinquerim, Keri and Morjim beaches in North Goa district, and Colva, Benaulim, Betalbhatim, Palolem and Galjibag seafronts in South Goa.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (Porvorim) Edwin Colaco said over 700 policemen were stationed at various points to maintain law and order.
Special patrolling helplines were also set up and local intelligence was stepped-up, he said.
The coastal state is one of the favourite destinations for domestic and foreign tourists to ring in the New Year.
Celebrations at some places are expected to spill over till Thursday as the state government has relaxed the ban on playing music late at night for two days.