Ringing in 2016, Then Wringing Out Your Clothes

New Year Celebration
What better way to celebrate a new beginning than plunging into a freezing-cold body of water? A swimmer rejoices at the New Year's Day Loony Dook swim at South Queensferry in Scotland. Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Water is a symbol of rebirth, which is why for years the most popular place to celebrate New Year's Day has been the nearest ocean, sea, lake or river. From Hong Kong to Rio de Janeiro to Slovenia, participants washed off their 2015 baggage en masse, usually wearing extravagant costumes or next to nothing at all. Here's what the landlocked among us are missing out on this January 1st.

New Year Celebration
A couple watches the fireworks over Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
New Year Celebration
Halloween isn't the only day for costumes in Saundersfoot in Wales, Britain. Both Santa Claus and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles showed up for the annual New Year's Day swim. Rebecca Naden/Reuters
New Year Celebration
There wasn't much room to celebrate in pools near a beach in Durban, South Africa, but that didn't keep people from splishing and splashing. Rogan Ward/Reuters
New Year Celebration
Swimmers couldn't get into the water fast enough during a New Year's Day race in Hong Kong, China. Tyrone Siu/Reuters
New Year Celebration
The Tiber River in Rome, Italy isn't known for its cleanliness, but that doesn't keep people diving in on January 1st, a tradition that dates back to 1946. Max Rossi/Reuters
New Year Celebration
Don't look back! Adventurous Slovenians step into the surely freezing water in Portoroz's annual Jump into the Sea. Srdjan Zivulovic
New Year Celebration
Swimmers got their mustache on in the New Year's Day Loony Dook swim at South Queensferry in Scotland, Britain. Russell Cheyne/Reuters
New Year Celebration
No swimsuit was required at a traditional New Year's Day swim in Dunkirk, France. Pascal Rossignol/Reuters
New Year Celebration
The Force is with these swimmers participating in the New Year's Day swim at Saundersfoot in Wales, Britain. Rebecca Naden/Reuters
New Year Celebration
A woman jumps from a floating shrine as people carry it into the sea during a festival to wish for calm waters in the ocean and good fortune outside of Tokyo, Japan. Yuya Shino/Reuters
New Year Celebration
The easiest Where's Waldo? puzzle of all time at the New Year's Day Loony Dook swim at South Queensferry in Scotland. Russell Cheyne/Reuters
Ringing in 2016, Then Wringing Out Your Clothes | Culture