Thousands of eager Aussies have turned up to a beach in Hobart and stripped down to their birthday suits for a swim – despite it being a near-freezing seven degrees Celsius.
Dark Mofo’s annual winter solstice nude swim saw a record number of participants sign up this year, with over 1,500 people stripping down for a skinny dip in the chilly water at Sandy Bay.
The atmosphere as people donned their red swimming caps and readied themselves was “electrifying”, according to our Be reporter on the ground.
“You almost didn’t feel the cold, because of the bustling atmosphere and everyone getting ready. It felt like a special moment,” he said.
At exactly 7:42 am, when the rising sun marked the beginning of a new day, swimmers young and old ran into the water. Some lasted longer than others but everyone there got their toes wet.
Two women that had done the event multiple times before even joked afterwards that the water was “warm”.
“The water was really beautiful, if we didn’t have to go to work we would stay and do a few laps,” a female participant told Be.
“I love the idea of it being the solstice and you’re actually greeting the dawn after the longest night of the year. It’s one of the few times I’m up early enough to see the sunrise,” her friend added.
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Firies were on hand to help warm the swimmers after their dip.
The inaugural swim took place in 2013, and since then is held annually as part of the Museum of Old and New Art’s (MONA) festival of the bizarre. It’s grown quite a bit from its initial 21 participants.
“It was empowering,” our reporter said. “People of all shapes and sizes were so proud and confident in their own bodies.”
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