Under the watchful eyes of a large number of police personnel, thousands thronged the Marina to celebrate Kaanum Pongal on Friday.
This time of the year is the best for business, said Ramesh, a food vendor on the beach. With many patrons, the Pongal season makes a bulk of the yearly business for the vendors here. However, Kanchana, who runs a toy stall on the beach, said that business has fallen this year. “This time is usually when we make the most money. But many are not buying things this year. People don’t have any money to spend,” she said. It is not just the local population, but tourists from around the world were present at the Marina. Valerie from Denmark, who is on her maiden trip, said, “The beach is beautiful and seeing such a crowd amazes me. I do not know much about the local festivals, but I hope to learn more.”
Meanwhile, with 56,749 visitors, Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur recorded the highest footfall in five years on Kaanum Pongal day. During the Pongal holidays, the zoo recorded 1,48,015 visitors – 27,071 more than last year.