Fireworks over the floating palaces of Udaipir, India

A New Years Eve Party so Fun The Military Broke it Up

When we arrived in Udaipur, we were told by our hotel owner that all NewYear’s Eve parties across the country had been canceled due to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. After a few days in the city with no word of any parties, we began to think this just might be true. However, the morning of December 31, signs had popped up all around town advertising a huge party, which we of course attended. The event was in a small dirt-filled patch of land overlooking the main lake of the town with the beautiful Lake Palace and Jag Mandir lit up in the distance (each of them having their own parties for more than $200 per person).

Our party, on the other hand, cost a mere $5 per person and included a buffet, some fireworks (aka, ones bought on the street and lit off in front of us), a fire pit and dancing. As the clock approached midnight, fireworks began to go off from all parts of the town including ours and from boats in the middle of the lake, but not from the $200 per person parties (suckers!). However, there was never a countdown and we didn’t even realize it was 2009 until Carrie looked at her watch and it said 12:01:14. Ooops…HAPPY NEW YEAR!


A New Year's Eve dance party in Udaipur
A New Year’s Eve dance party in Udaipur


As the evening continued, the majority of the non Indians at the party began to trickle out as a whole new collection of drunken Indian men began to flood in, probably coming from their own parties that ended early. It wasn’t long before the dance floor was filled with just about all men, many of which were dancing with each other in an extremely provocatively (by Western standards) manor. In a society where homosexuality is not really permitted or acknowledged but it is common to see two men holding hands as a sign of friendship, it was very interesting to watch their interactions and ponder what, if any, the subtext of all this was.

Finally, at around 1:30, the music abruptly ended and we noticed the DJ being yelled at by three very angry military officers. They slammed down some form of book, pulled the plug from the music system and continued screaming at the party organizers. Needless to say, Carrie and I took this as our queue to head back to our hotel, lest we begin 2009 in an Indian jail for breaking some curfew that we did not know about. And come on, what better way to end a party and start a new year than with military intervention!


Click below for some videos of the New Year’s Eve celebration: