The so-called "Polar Bear swims" or plunges are a Canadian way to celebrate the first day of the new year. The annual Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club was established way back in 1920. About 1,000-2,000 people usually register for the event. However, as the registry is not obligatory, the actual number of participants may be way higher.
This year around 1,000 fearless swimmers participated in the event, dressed up and ready to dip into the waters of English Bay.
Such plunges also take place in the United States and the United Kingdom and are usually held to raise money for a charitable organization.