New Year’s celebrations – the Dutch way

1 Jan

How is your head after the major worldwide holiday event ? Do you still have a handover? Well, if you are still looking for a remedy or want to know a better one for the next year, let me recommend a possible method of coping with the indisposition. However, it’s  on your risk – The New Year’s Dive! Today I experienced the Dutch tradition of beginning the year fresh by plunging into the cold North Sea.

New Year's Dive - Domburg, The Netherlands

New Year’s Dive – Domburg, The Netherlands

After a pleasant, or as the Dutch would say gezellig, New Year’s Eve with friends, fireworks, firecrackers, champagne, and olliebollen, my housemates and I decided to do the New Year’s Dive.  Not because I had a hangover and  needed a remedy, but because I wanted to try something unusual and experience the Dutch tradition, I joined the dive in Domburg which is a small resort in south-western Holland.

the beach in Domburg

the beach in Domburg

We traveled 12 km. by car from Midelburg to Domburg and we walked 30 minutes before we found the exact spot – Stand Noordduinen.  The beach was  crowded with ‘crazy’ participants like us and viewers. There were approximately 200 divers – from children to elderly. The air temperature was about 4 degrees Celsius, and the water temperature was about 6 degrees Celsius.

We arrived just 10 minutes before the event. We quickly enrolled, undressed and warmed up before plunging into the water. In case you decide to do the dive in the Netherlands, be sure not to step barefoot on the sand because it is vary cold. You should also warm up well beforehand and put on warm cloths afterward.

We lined up for the dive. After the sound signal, the crowd rushed towards the water and plunged in the sea. I plunged into the sea with determination and excitement. The dive itself  didn’t last more than a minute because the water was too cold. After the dive, my friends and I ate erwtensoep which is a typical winter Dutch soup.

We are eating ewtensoep

We are eating erwtensoep (Dutch split pea soup) after the dive

I am not quite sure whether the dive can cure somebody’s handover, but it is definitely a refreshing and cold beginning of 2011.  Because it was fun, I hope that 2011 will also be fun. Happy 2011!

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