Moscow winter swimmers get frosty for 50th year running

The harsh cold in Moscow has most people covering up to keep warm. But some Russians ignore that and strip down to plunge into the icy depths of frozen lakes.

One of the parks in the Russian capital has hosted the opening of 50th open water winter swimming season.

The bizarre tradition started around a thousand years ago as a religious festival. It was believed that when a man dives into freezing cold water, he cleanses himself of all the sins. The idea has stuck over the years, and nowadays people all across Russia gather to plunge into sub-zero waters just for fun.
They call themselves “morzhi”, which means walruses, and say that the practice is good for the health.