For most of us, New Year’s Day is about sleeping off hangovers and making resolutions to be broken by 5 pm. But for a select few people around the world, it’s about going for a swim.
Gondolas sit on the muddy sea bed of the Venetian lagoon in the Riva del Vin area, in Venice, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016. An uncommon low tide hampered boat circulation in many areas of the city that is built on an archipelago where canals serve the function of roads.
A week-long celebration honors Saint Thomas, the patron saint of Chichicastenango, Guatemala, and culminates on Dec. 21. The Feast of Saint Thomas draws international tourists with its colorful pageantry, but at its heart is a religious celebration melding Catholic and indigenous traditions.
Participants of the 78th edition of the annual Christmas swimming “Coupe de Noel” celebrate before jumping into the Lake Geneva, in Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. More than 1,800 men and women swam the 120 meters at the traditional Christmas swimming in Geneva, where the water temperature was at 44 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hundreds of grey seals use a beach on the North Sea island of Heligoland, Germany to give birth to their pups, usually between the months of November and January. The pups, after three weeks of nursing, are then left to fend for themselves. This year has seen a record number of new pups, with 320 births recorded up to December 14.