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Christmas swim Almost 2,000 brave chilly Lake Geneva

People eating fondue during Geneva Christmas swim

One way to warm up - people eating fondue during the annual Geneva Christmas swim

(Keystone)

Sunday saw Geneva’s annual Christmas lake swim, with almost 2,000 people taking the cold plunge into the water.

The Coupe du Noëlexternal link is the oldest sports event in canton Geneva and is a mix of competition – there is a race over 120 metres - and fun, as people like to dress up.

In addition to the swimmers eating cheese fondue, as pictured here, there was a 'wedding party' and another inspired by Swan Lake, taking the plunge to the music of Tchaikovsky, the Swiss news agency reported.

The water - which measured six degrees Celsius - was slightly warmer than the air, which was just five degrees Celsius - although there were a few moments of warm sunshine to warm both participants and spectators at lunchtime.

It is the 79th time that the event has been held. The biggest obstacle is not the cold water but the wind. “We had to cancel the competition in 2001 and 2009 because the bise wind was too strong,” said Simon Lecoultre, one of the organisers.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/ilj

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