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The Dutch have many amusing pass-times and traditions — such as skating on the lakes and canals from town to town (skating is a favourite activity — documented on countless canvases by Avercamp and other great Dutch painters) ,practicing kite-surfing in the middle of winter, skiing in alpine centres on artificial snow under huge domes, eating raw herring, cycling against the wind when there is storm, and, of course, the New Year’s dip or dive into the North Sea.

Here some pictures of 1 January 2015 at Noordwijk (just North of The Hague), where I took a 3 minute dip and topped it with a nice drink of home-brewed Slivovitz. Air temperature was 4, water temperature 8. In Scheweningen as many as 10 thousand people hit the waves on 1 January.  In Noordwijk there was a nice crowd at 3 p.m., but I had already done it at noon.  Maybe next January I will join the organized dip — and get my orange cap as a souvenir.

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