February 8, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Traditional European New Year diving "walruses" (video)

European walruses met the New Year traditionally by diving into cold winter waters. However, the weather was kind to them.

New Year’s diving into the Tiber River took place in the Italian capital. At the same time, 70-year-old Maurizio Palmulli, a veteran diver, dedicated his dive to the late Pope Benedict XVI. In total, only four “walruses” dared to dive into the cold water from the 15-meter Cavour bridge. Nearby, for safety reasons and ready to help, a team of firefighters was on duty. Maurizio Palmulli says:

“We dive just to keep this Roman tradition alive. There’s no politics or money here. I’m glad to see the kids, because they’re the ones who will continue this glorious tradition.”

German walruses, members of the Berliner Seals club, enjoyed the cold waters of Lake Orank. However, the water in it turned out to be much warmer than in previous years – the air warmed up to sixteen degrees Celsius, and the water temperature exceeded 6.5°C. Ursula Schwarz, who is also a member of the Berliner Seals club, says:

“The local community is a lot of fun here. When you get out of the water after swimming, you feel the hormones of happiness seething in you. And I have been a member for a long time, thirty-seven years. I would just be missing something if I could not swim on Sunday”.

It was colder in the Netherlands – it is customary to swim in the North Sea there. It is believed that the tradition was started by a local swimmers’ club in the 60s of the last century.



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