The tradition comes from the USA, itself inspired by Scandinavian practice. For them, it is good for their health to bathe in cold water before diving into a steam bath.
In 1902, in Boston, the polar bear club, the L Street Brownies (for the hazel skin color developed by frequent exposure to the sun) held their New Year’s swim in Dorchester Bay harbor. The origins go back to 1865. Nieuwjaarsduik (New Year’s dive) follows from 1960, in The Hague; last bath of the year, since 1969 in Dinard and the Loony Dook (literally, diving for the insane), in 1987, in Edinburgh. Since the 1990s, Rome has offered a dip in the waters of the Tiber, while Berlin’s seals (Berliner Seehund) plunge into Lake Oranke (6.5°C). Then Châtelaillon-Plage organizes the Baignade des Banquisards with a first edition in 2007, an initiative taken in Malo-les-Bains (59) with Bain des givrés, from 2020.
For the 2022 edition, which will take place on Saturday 28 December at 11:30, opposite Casinoet, the event’s partner, the Banquisards will be able to warm up to the Zumba rhythm, jogging and stretching to music. jump into the water at noon, or even dive for the more daring. The craziest fancy dress and costumes are highly recommended. Hot snack on the way out. To participate in this always very joyful and free moment, register and collect a wristband at the reception of the Town Hall in Châtelaillon, at the Casino or Hyper U in Beaulieu.