Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year's Dip

Aside from blowing things up and spending over 60million euro on fireworks, the Dutch traditionally take to the water at New Year by means of a nieuwjaarsduik. At different events across the country brave souls don their swim gear and charge into a body of freezing water. I went to watch them in Zoetermeer at the Noord Aa.

To say it was all as mad as I had expected is an understatement. Two hundred people stood together on the Noord Aa beach wearing woolly red Unox hats with towels and dressing gowns covering their swimming shorts, bikinis, T-shirts and swimsuits. They all waited in good spirits for a local councillor to give them the go ahead at 13.00 to start their run into the water.

Photo (c) Amanda van Mulligen

As preparation there was a few minutes warm up before everyone shed their dressing gown and towels....
Photo (c) Amanda van Mulligen
 and then they were off....

Photo (c) Amanda van Mulligen
Two hundred Zoetermeerders pelted it down the beach into the water. There were a few minutes of screaming, laughing and splashing before the last dipper was back on shore, dabbing themselves down with towels, blankets and warming their tummies with a hot cup of Unox soup.

Now.. er.. happy new year!! You can see more of the Noord Aa event in the video below.

No comments:

Post a Comment