Swimmers flock for Christmas dip

The traditional Christmas swim in the sea near Halmstad, a city on the southwest coast of Sweden has becoming an increasingly popular yuletid event. More than 100 people jumped into the freezing ocean at exactly 11am on Christmas Eve – with even more spectators watching from shore.

“It was like a parade of lemmings down towards the beach. And there was actually a little hint of sun on the horizon,” winter bather Svante Lundgren told TT news agency.

“It keeps you healthy and the snaps are really tasty afterwards,” he added.

Another group of winter swimmners in Höganäs met early on Christmas Eve morning to dive into into 1 degree Celsius water. Several of the bathers took a moment in the warmth of their newly built sauna to summon the courage to take the icy plunge.

“Icy cold, you need to warm up a little bit before you jump in,” one of the swimmers told Sveriges Radio Malmö.

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