Residents bid goodbye to 2013 and celebrated the arrival of the New Year in various parts of the city on Tuesday night.
The biggest party of all was at Fort Kochi where local residents and tourists gathered together to ring in the New Year. The streets of Fort Kochi had been wearing a festive look since the Christmas and carnival season began with stars, lights, and other decorations. The carnival spirit was in full flow on Tuesday night as Kochiites headed to Fort Kochi to celebrate with friends and family.
Hundreds gathered on Fort Kochi to take part in the burning of the ‘Pappanji,’ a huge effigy of Christmas Papa. The ‘Pappanji' going up in flames marks a farewell to the old year and the ceremony looks ahead to the promise of the coming year. While several 'pappanji' effigies were lit all over the city, the special 'Biennale Pappanji' at Fort Kochi drew the largest crowds.
The ‘Pappanji,’ created by artists engaged by the Kochi-Muziris Biennale Foundation, was set up on the beach earlier in the day. At midnight, the figure was set ablaze by director Lal Jose.
The celebrations were carried out in high police security to ensure the safety of the visitors. Plainclothes police officers and special branch officers were also deployed on the beach and nearby areas to ensure security. The police had also set up checking at various points around Fort Kochi area to catch drunk drivers. The Mattancherry police registered at least five cases of drunk driving on Tuesday evening, while at least two such cases were registered at Fort Kochi.