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New Year’s Dive at Scheveningen

Posted on Jan 3, 2019 by in All Photos, Shopping and Lifestyle | 3 comments

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Every year, thousands of people test their limits by diving into the freezing waters of the North Sea on the first day of the year. The New Year’s Dive, or Nieuwjaarsduik, is said to be a typical Dutch tradition (although there are other countries that host New Year’s Dives). Dutch people, along with their adopted internationals looking for adrenaline, gather in the morning on many of the country’s beaches or even on river banks to plunge together into the icy waters. It is said to be an empowering experience and I believe it, especially after witnessing it live this year.

The most popular place for the Nieuwjaarsduik is Scheveningen, the sea resort near The Hague, and that’s where I went on the 1st of January to accompany a friend who was brave enough to do the dive. The day started with drizzle, gloomy as any other winter day, the water temperature was around 7 degrees Celsius and there were big foamy waves. By the time everyone was finished with the dive, a little rainbow appeared and, later, even the sun. I was one of the lame people sitting on the shore, fully dressed, watching the crazy ones running into the waves. I wanted to take more pictures of the moment, but it was impossible, because as soon as the people around me started running, there were already others coming back from the sea and I had to make sure I wasn’t run over! At least I could enjoy the dancing that preceded the swim and the traditional pea soup we got after. But I’ve decided that next year I will do it as well and I already have friends signing up to join me for the New Year’s Dutch Craziness. It was a great start of 2019 nonetheless, being on the beautiful beach, surrounded by so much joy.

Why do people do the New Year’s Dive? Probably because this is a great way to push your own boundaries and get outside of your comfort zone. It’s a way for expats to “test how Dutch they’ve become”. Also a way to have fun with friends and definitely a great way to have a crazy start of the year!

 

 

3 Comments

  1. I don’t think I would ever be brave enough to try it. In the summer yes but in the winter no 😀

    • Well, sometimes, even in the summer it feels like a Nieuwjaarsduijk :))
      It took me a few years to be brave and bathe in the North Sea when the temperature was 22 degrees – a regular Dutch summer (last year was a very welcome exception!).

      • Haha. That is true. The water is still quite cold even in the summer. I just assumed the water was even colder on the Nieuwjaarsduijk.

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