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Swimmers brave cold for Berlin Christmas swim

  • Dec. 25, 2014: Amelie and her father Mario leaves the Oranke Lake during the annual Christmas Swimming of the winter and ice swimming club 'Seehunde Berlin', (Berlin Seals), in Berlin. (AP)

    Dec. 25, 2014: Amelie and her father Mario leaves the Oranke Lake during the annual Christmas Swimming of the winter and ice swimming club 'Seehunde Berlin', (Berlin Seals), in Berlin. (AP)

  • Dec. 25, 2014: Members of the winter and ice swimming club 'Seehunde Berlin' (Berlin Seals), wearing Christmas themed hats, enter the chilly Oranke Lake during the annual Christmas swim in Berlin. (AP)

    Dec. 25, 2014: Members of the winter and ice swimming club 'Seehunde Berlin' (Berlin Seals), wearing Christmas themed hats, enter the chilly Oranke Lake during the annual Christmas swim in Berlin. (AP)

For a group of hardy Berliners, Christmas Day is a time to sing seasonal songs, don festive wear -- and take a plunge in a cold lake.

Dozens of swimmers from the Berlin Seals club came to the German capital's Oranke lake Thursday for their annual Christmas dip, complete with red Christmas hats.

The air was relatively mild this year at around 41 F but still bracing enough for the swimmers to warm up by singing Christmas carols before taking the plunge.

Swimmer Beate Korehnke said: "The best is the feeling afterward. There is prickling all over the body -- it's like a sauna but backward."