A chilly start to 2018: Thousands take part in New Year swims

Photo: Holland.com

Some 40,000 people all over the Netherlands have taken a dip in the sea or a lake to welcome in the New Year.

Organised swims took part at some 140 places nationwide, although the biggest remains the Scheveningen dip, which 10,000 people join in.

Although the air temperature was 8 degrees at the seaside resort, it felt more like 3 or 4 in the wind, according to weather bureau Weerplaza. The water temperature was between five and eight degrees.

The first Scheveningen Nieuwjaarsduik took place in 1965 and the event is now sponsored by smoked sausage maker Unox, which provides all the swimmers with an orange hat.

The swim has only been cancelled once – in 2007 – when the weather was too cold and strong currents made the sea too dangerous.

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