What began as two friends’ novel way of curing their Hogmanay hangovers in 1987 has turned into something of a phenomenon.
Exactly 31 years later, the Loony Dook in South Queensferry was attended by some 1,100 people, all eager to embrace the debatable benefits of a plunge into the freezing waters of the Firth of Forth.
Not only is it getting bigger, but the fancy dress costumes are becoming ever more elaborate – baths complete with rubber ducks and a three-person replica of the Forth Bridge were among this year’s standouts.
People from overseas – from a total of 21 different countries, no less – took part, perhaps not quite realising just how cold the North Sea can get.
Maybe the palm trees in Plockton on Scotland’s west coast persuaded them that it couldn’t be all that bad.
And the popularity of this particular form of “lunacy” is spreading, with Portobello, North Berwick and Kinghorn in Fife among the places to have joined in.
Cold water can be dangerous but, if sufficient care is taken, such charitable events are a bit of fun and a bracing way to welcome the New Year.