Polar Plunge! January 6, 2016

It’s January. Let’s go to the beach!

It may sound crazy but one group, called The Polar Bear Club, celebrates the new year with an annual plunge into icy cold water. The tradition goes back more than hundred years and originated with the Scandinavians. It was a way to rapidly cool off after the heat of their traditional saunas.


In the United States, the first frigid swim took place in Boston in 1904. Since then, this tradition has spread all over the United States, and now takes place in many major cities. In New York City, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club hosts a dip at the famous Brooklyn beach. The number of participants increases from year to year. On January 1, 2015, 1,500 people participated in the chilly dive in Boston alone!

These brave people call themselves “Polar Bears” and often dress in costumes of the ancient Vikings and Scots — running into the water with swords in hand. Nothing can stop them! Why, you ask? Well, some say plunging into the icy water is very good for your health. But these events are also held in order to raise money for charity. Thousands of dollars are collected for worthy causes every year.

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