“Samichlausschwimmen” – a tradition in Zurich

Every year at the beginning of December, around 300 people swim across the freezing-cold Limmat river to collect money for charity.

December 8, 2019

Since 2000, 300 hardy men and women dressed in Santa Claus costumes jump into the freezing-cold Limmat river, only to emerge 111 teeth-chattering meters (364ft) later at the Frauenbad Stadthausquai on the other side. So what’s this all about? What began with some 65 participants as a bit of fun among friends has in recent years become a popular sporting event for an increasing number of people. Moreover, since 2011, the proceeds of the event are donated to charity.

Some swimmers even claim that a dip in icy-cold water is good for your health and that that is why they take part in the “Samichlausschwimmen” event. Whatever the reason – the spectators are thrilled at the spectacular sight!

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