Christmas Day: Around the world some take icy dips while others head to the beach

From midnight mass to swimming in freezing temperatures, celebrations vary across the globe

May Bulman
Monday 25 December 2017 18:40
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Members of ice swimming club ‘Berliner Seehunde’ – which means Berlin Seals – take a dip in the Orankesee lake in Berlin as part of their traditional Christmas ice swimming session
Members of ice swimming club ‘Berliner Seehunde’ – which means Berlin Seals – take a dip in the Orankesee lake in Berlin as part of their traditional Christmas ice swimming session

It’s Christmas Day, and billions of people across the world are celebrating.

From midnight mass to swimming in freezing lakes, here are some of the different ways the festivities have played out across the globe.

Hyde Park, London

Swimmers get out of the water in London's Hyde Park after taking part in the Christmas Day Serpentine swim. Known as the Peter Pan Cup race, the swim takes place each year on Christmas morning.

The name of the 100-yard race derives from 1904, when author and playwright Sir James Barrie presented the first Peter Pan cup to the winner.

Kochi, India

Christians are a small minority in India – where Hindus make up 80 per cent of the population of 1.3 billion people and Muslims 14 per cent.

Despite anti-Christian sentiment in some parts of the country, Christian worshippers traditionally attend a Christmas midnight mass, as seen in this image of a church in Kochi. (Reuters)

Berlin, Germany

Members of ice swimming club “Berliner Seehunde” – which means Berlin Seals – take a dip in the German capital's Orankesee lake as part of their traditional Christmas ice swimming session. (Reuters)

Members of ice swimming club ‘Berliner Seehunde’ – which means Berlin Seals – take a dip in the Orankesee lake in Berlin as part of their traditional Christmas ice swimming session

The group meets every year to hop into the frigid waters and they never let cold temperatures stop them from taking a dip. (Reuters)

Valparaiso, Chile

A man dressed in a Santa Claus outfit waves to people from a fisherman's boat on Christmas Eve along the coast of the city of Valparaiso.

Christmas in Chile is warm as it is in the middle of summer. Many Catholics in the country celebrate Advent and go to special church services for nine days before Christmas, which is known as a Novena. (Reuters)

Sydney, Australia

December is one of the hottest months of the year across Australia, with Christmas traditionally involving a trip to the beach and celebrations outdoors

In this image, life savers patrol the beach at Bondi, where hundreds of people gather to take a dip.

This year however, temperatures reached only a top of 20C this Christmas, with an unseasonal cold spell hitting the city of Sydney. However, the hot weather is forecast to return in time for New Year’s Eve. (Getty)

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