Winter Swimmers take Icy Christmas Day Dip in Berlin’s Orankesee lake

People have once again taken part in a traditional icy Christmas Day dip in Berlin.

Winter swimmers donning Christmas costumes sang carols as they plunged into the chilly Orankesee lake.

The frigid water was just over 5C and the air temperature was 9C.

Despite the winter chill, swimmer Mario Beyer enjoyed the Christmas tradition.

“It is something special. And it’s just for fun and not everyone does it, and that keeps it fresh,” he said.

“Every morning you overcome your weaker self, and that is a big triumph. And it is good fun. If you did it, then it is very satisfying.”

Two men wearing Santa hats stand in the water and are either side of a laughing woman dressed in tinsel.

The members of ice swimming club Berliner Seehunde (Berlin Seals) dressed in Santa hats, garlands, striped bathing suits, and some even wore gloves.

Temperatures are mild this year in the German capital and Ursula Scharze, chairwoman of Berlin’s winter swimmers, said some had hoped for ice, snow and sun.

“Unfortunately there is not much we can do about it, we would have liked a better scenery, with ice and sun,” she said.

“Ice, snow and sun, that is optimal.”

The first winter swimming clubs around the world were founded in the 1920s and the sport has since become increasingly popular, with hundreds taking part every year.