A venerable New Year's Day tradition returned to Vancouver for the first time in three years.
Swimmers braved the icy cold waters of English Bay on Sunday to take part in the Polar Bear Swim, an event that dates back more than a century.
The event last took place on Jan. 1, 2020, prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 7,000 people took part in the 2020 swim, which marked the 100th anniversary of the event.
The last two editions of the swim were replaced by a "digital dip" with participants dunking themselves into a bathtub or pool filled with cold water (at least 7 C) and sharing a photo or video online.
The tradition was started in 1920 by Peter Pantages, who had recently immigrated from Greece.
Pantages, who owned the Peter Pan Cafe on Granville Street and died in 1971, used to swim at least once a day in honour of his home island of Andros in Greece, according to his granddaughter Lisa.
Lisa Pantages, who is the president of the Polar Bear Swim Club, says over the years people have turned up at the event with flamboyant costumes and created their own family traditions.
"I think people just use it as a fun way to start the new year," she told CBC earlier in the week.