Some months ago, somebody told me that here’s the tradition to dive into the sea on 1st of January. I hadn’t paid much attention at that time, due to the fact that in Romania there’s a religious tradition to dive in the cold freezing water on 6th of January, when we celebrate the baptize of Jesus.
It was a sunny Friday; unusually warm for a first day of the year. After a night in which I felt like I was in the middle of a war (you just can’t imagine how crazy it was: at each street corner fireworks and bombs, the earth was shaking and smoke was everywhere), we headed to the beach to see what this New Year’s Dive is all about. The train wasn’t crowded, but when we got to Zandvoort I realized I never saw so many people on the beach all summer long (and we’ve been to the sea almost each week, it’s only 10 minutes away with train/bus). Single or big families with kids were heading out to club no. 5, where the gathering for the dive was hold. I wouldn’t imagine that even on 1st of January the truck with sea street food will be open, but there they were: large queues in order to get some herring or shrimps. For me all of these was weird: during evenings there’s no shop open and you nearly find some junk food to buy, but there they are on 1st of January, all the shops open in Zandvoort. Capitalism, right? The street started to be more busy and busy, so we stopped before entering the beach, which was composed of a mass of orange hats jumping around, children running naked or adults making waves, police and other people there only to stare. When at 2 pm the signal was given everybody started to run towards the sea and they only entered the area where the water was really low.
We’ve started to dive in 2016 too. With the cold sun above our head we’ve returned home only to take our backpacks and to leave to Maastricht. But this is another story.