BRITISH COLUMBIA

Polar Bear Swims In B.C. Draw Brave Souls To Frigid Waters

01/02/2015 01:00 EST | Updated 01/02/2015 01:59 EST

Thousands of swimmers in bathing suits and costumes in B.C. braved frigid waters for a Canadian New Year's Day tradition (though "swimming" would be stretching the definition).

More than 2,000 people had registered for the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim, the largest and oldest in the world, according to CBC News. The 95th edition of the event was held under clear skies and in three-degree water.

Most people ran into the water for a quick dip before scurrying back to shore.

A similar, smaller Penguin Plunge was also held in Deep Cove.

The inaugural Polar Bear Dip in Kelowna, meanwhile, drew nearly 70 people. The event raised money for The Community Recreational Initiatives Society (CRIS), a non-profit group that uses adaptive equipment to help people with disabilities involved in outdoor activities, reported Castanet.

Check out photos of the chilly swims this year:

New Year's Day B.C. Polar Bear Swims 2015