No, this post is not about food!! It’s about taking a dip in the sea at Christmas! 🙂
A tradition of winter swimming has grown along the Languedoc coast. Several seaside towns mark the end of the year or the beginning of a new one with a swim. Valras Plage, near Beziers, calls it the Bain de Noel, the Christmas swim.
In Valras, the tradition was started over 30 years ago by a few enthusiasts, who went swimming throughout the year. On December 23, 2017, over 300 people came to take a dip in the sea. The water temperature was 8 degrees Celsius, and as you’ll see from the photographs, the sun was shining!
People wore all kinds of fancy costumes to mark the occasion:
The life guards had come dressed up as Santa’s helpers:
After a brief warm up, the bathers made a dash for the water!! I saw some people jump in head first, whilst others went in up to their knees. I’m not sure that I would have been that brave! The water must have felt freezing cold!!
The video below will give you a good idea of the fun everyone had! After the dip, there was hot mulled wine for all the bathers!! 🙂
Would you go for a Christmas swim in the sea? Or would you prefer a stroll along the beach? Or….?