Berlin swimmers celebrate Christmas with an icy dip


These swimmers are heralding

Christmas with an icy dip

in the Orankesee Lake

(SOUNDBITE) (German) WINTER SWIMMER, JENS GLINZIG, SAYING:"It prickles and it is pleasant and above all, one notices now the cold air. The air is about -6 degrees Celsius and the water is around 4 degrees, and you do notice the difference. It is actually more pleasant in the water, it is warmer."

The 'Berlin Seals' swimming club

has been going since 1979

They now have

around 70 winter swimmers

Their season begins in September

(SOUNDBITE) (German) WINTER SWIMMER, MARINA HUNGER, SAYING:"I've been doing this for almost 30 years and in the early days, when I had little time I would go on Sunday and if I skipped it, I always regretted that. I don't want to say it is a drug, but it is quite addictive. It's an addiction."

The first winter swimming clubs

were founded in the 1920s

and have been growing

more popular ever since

Hundreds take part every year