Gaggles of hardy swimmers in festive Santa hats had a frigid dip in the Mediterranean resort town of Antibes on Tuesday. The swim was a reproduction of a traditional New Year’s Day swim that occurs every year.
Antibes is certainly better known for its lovely, long, white sand beaches where the stars come to bask in the summer sun. Normally, winter is a low period in the area, but there are clearly enough people to make a crowd. Though the night before was surely a big party evening, the motivated locals came out in droves to test the brisk waters at Salis beach. Lucky for them, the temperature was warmer than average, reaching a balmy 17 degrees (in and out of the water). The frisky splash-around involved regulars and newcomers of all ages, ranging from 10 to 80.
Traditional swims take place in many parts of France on New Year’s Day but the Antibes event is the Riviera’s most prominent tradition. This “Bain du Jour de l’An.”