- Title: Divers in fancy dress plunge into icy Baikal in pre-New Year party
- Date: 28th December 2019
- Summary: LISTVYANKA, RUSSIA (DECEMBER 28, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DIVER DRESSED AS FATHER FROST (THE RUSSIAN VERSION OF FATHER CHRISTMAS) GIVING GIFTS TO OTHER DIVERS DIVER DRAGGING KETTLE BELL ALONG LAKE FLOOR DIVER WAVING IMPROVISED TROPHY DIVERS GETTING READY TO RACE DIVERS HOLDING KETTLE BELLS RACING ACROSS LAKE FLOOR VARIOUS OF DIVERS HOLDING IMPROVISED TROPHY FIRST PERSON VIEW OF DIVER SURFACING VARIOUS OF DIVERS ON SURFACE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) FATHER FROST, ALEXANDER VASILEV, SAYING: "Friendship won overall, but some people stood out by a long way and, of course, received 'valuable' prizes. (JOURNALIST ASKING OFF CAMERA: Right there (underwater)?) There, of course, I'm an underwater Father Frost." MIST RISING OVER LAKE BAIKAL (SOUNTBITE) (Russian) DIVER, ANNA GUMENNIKOVA, SAYING: "The girls and I decided that because it's New Year, because it's winter, there should be some sort of magic. And what's the most wonderful magic for girls? Swan Lake! Everyone is a ballerina, slim and beautiful. I just didn't have enough fabric." VARIOUS OF DIVERS PUTTING ON FANCY DRESS DIVERS DRESSED AS BALLERINAS LEAVING DIVE CENTRE AND POSING FOR PHOTO VARIOUS OF DIVERS ENTERING WATER VARIOUS OF PILLARS CAKED IN ICE IN LAKE MIST RISING OVER LAKE WITH MOUNTAINS IN DISTANCE DIVE CENTRE NEXT TO ROAD
- Embargoed: 11th January 2020 18:37
- Keywords: Baikal Christmas Father Frost. Russia Siberia holidays traditions. diving
- Location: LISTVYANKA, RUSSIA
- City: LISTVYANKA, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Reuters ID: LVA001BBW3HO9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:A group of Russian divers in fancy dress got into the festive spirit with a plunge in the ice-cold waters of Lake Baikal on Saturday (December 28).
The festivities included underwater competitions where divers raced along the lake floor with a kettle bell or dragged it with a rope. Father Frost, the Russian version of Father Christmas, gave prizes to the winners.
Compared with the outside temperature of minus 20 degrees centigrade, the water was a relatively balmy 3 degrees.
The diving club in the town of Listvyanka has been organising celebrations in the run up to New Year for over ten years.
In Soviet times, New Year was celebrated instead of Christmas and the tradition continues to this day. Orthodox Christians traditionally mark Christmas on January 7, but celebrations are normally more modest.
(Production: Ekaterina Lykova, Peter Scott)
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