Videos: Thousands of Dutch welcome 2018 with plunge into cold water

Thousands line up in Schevningen, The Hague to take the New Year's dive
Thousands line up in Schevningen, The Hague to take the New Year's dive. Photo: @kesseltje70 / Twitter

Thousands of people in the Netherlands welcomed the new year by taking a dip in the cold water at over 140 locations across the country. From noon tens of thousands of people stormed into the cold water, just to storm out again moments later and line up for hot chocolate and soup.

The first New Year's dive was held in the Netherlands in 1960, the Telegraaf reports. Nineteen years ago Unox adopted the traditional event. Since then the dive took place every year, except on January 1st 2007, when it was extremely cold and the sea currents were too treacherous. This year started out relatively mildly, with temperatures around 8 degrees, though the wind chill dropped that to 3 to four degrees, according to Weerplaza. Water temperatures ranged from around 5 to 8 degrees. 

Unox connected its name to about 140 New Year's dive locations across the Netherlands this year. Around 40 thousand people showed up at those locations to brave the cold. There were also various unofficial dive sites. Amsterdammers took the plunge in the IJmeer near Blijburg beach, in the Gaapserplas, in the Amstel, and in the Sloterplas, according to Het Parool.

Around 10 thousand people stormed into the water in Scheveningen, The Hague, according to the Telegraaf. Though official figures are not yet known. In some places in the country - including Vrouwenpolder in Zeeland, Zandvoort and the Galderse Meren near Breda - people went into the water naked.

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