The Culture Crush
Society Is Everybody's Business

Freeze Frame

photographs by Annie Morton

On New Year’s Day, it’s safe to assume most people are nursing a hang over or cleaning up from the night before. But there is another tradition on this fresh-start day other than to just keeping the party going—one that takes a lot more stamina than bottomless brunch and requires more than just a “new year, new me” Instagram post. On sandy and rocky shores all over the world, brave souls dive into the freezing sea to start anew and quite literally wash the slate clean. The Dutch refer to it as Scheveningen and don bright orange hats, some call it an ice dive, but in America, it is most commonly known as the Polar Bear Plunge.

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 “You might think everyone is dressed for Halloween, but they’re not. They’re dressed for the plunge. The costumes kind of create a sense of camaraderie.”

“You might think everyone is dressed for Halloween, but they’re not. They’re dressed for the plunge. The costumes kind of create a sense of camaraderie.”

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 “To the outsider looking in, it might seem pretty odd, maybe even a bit insane, to want to partake in the Polar Bear Plunge, but at the end of the day it’s all about a community coming together, far and wide, for a worthwhile cause.”

“To the outsider looking in, it might seem pretty odd, maybe even a bit insane, to want to partake in the Polar Bear Plunge, but at the end of the day it’s all about a community coming together, far and wide, for a worthwhile cause.”

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