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.


Invader_Stu said...

Yep. they are crazy.

Aledys Ver said...

I totally forgot about the Nieuwjaarsduik! That must have felt cold!! I love the Unox hats hehe

Miss Footloose said...

Fortunately the Nieuwjaarsduik is a voluntary activity! I had forgotten about this craziness.

Then again, what's wrong with a little craziness?

Leave it to big business (Unox)to use it as a promotional opportunity, but the hats are cool!

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar from an expat Dutchie.

Conchita said...

Your Web-page has make me feel sort of homesick - I lived in The Hague for almost seven years and I really miss my Expat and Dutch friends and the good times me and my family had with them - Love your articles!