Europeans brave the cold for annual New Year's Day plunge

People across Europe braved cold weather to celebrate New Year's Day with a dip in freezing waters.

In the Netherlands, thousands of enthusiasts braved chill winds to take the plunge into the North Sea, in the seaside district of Scheveningen.

The event is held as a charity fundraiser with each swimmer required to buy a ticket. 

According to the event organizers, 10,000 people took part in the Scheveningen plunge alone.

They faced a water temperature of 7 degrees Celsius (44.6 Fahrenheit) and an air temperature of 3 degrees Celsius (37.4 Fahrenheit).

The tradition is thought to date back to the 1960s.

In Germany, members of the Berlin Seals swimming club met for their New Year's Day tradition and took a dip in Lake Oranke, outside Berlin.

Some people believe taking a winter swim has health benefits.

In Italy, people dived off Rome's Cavour bridge 15 meters down into the Tiber river. 

The first Near Year's Day Tiber dive was in 1946 and then it had been on and off until 1989, when a group of divers started it again.

A team of divers from Rome's firefighter squad stood by in a dinghy. They plucked the divers out of the murky water moments after each dive.

Like the other event, this New Year's Day tradition also goes back decades.