Maybe you already heared people talking about the ‘nieuwjaarsduik’ or maybe you were wondering why thousands of people are heading to Scheveningen on the first of January. Well, a lot of Dutch people (by far not everyone) start the new year by diving into the cold water of the North Sea. But why do people do this and how did it became a tradition?
It all started in 1965 when Jan van Scheijndel, an ex-marathonswimmer, decided with a few other people to jump into the freezing water and celebrate the new year. In the first couple of years there were not that many crazy Dutchies who choose to start their new year the same way as Jan van Scheijndel did but somehow that changed in the 90’s. Around that time the ‘nieuwjaarsduik’ became more popular with the climax at the beginning of the year 2000 when 10.000 people run from the beach in Scheveningen to the North Sea.
Nowadays the ‘nieuwjaarsduik’ is an offical event organized by UNOX, a Dutch company famous for soups and ‘rookworst’. That’s why you will see all the orange winter hats. After the dive people can warm up with a warm soup and a ‘rookworst’.
Why people prefer to start the year like this? To start the year fresh and clean so they can create an amazing year!
In case you missed it you can watch the video below with all the highlights.