I’m Officially Loony Dook-ed!

The Three Sisters – Bidean nam Bian
January 7, 2015
This is Glen Coe, Scotland
I Went to Glen Coe, And This is What Happened.
January 9, 2015

I’m Officially Loony Dook-ed!

the Loony Dook New Year's Day dip in the Firth of Forth at South Queensferry

I’m Officially Loony Dook-ed!

The sight of Forth Bridge, thousands of people dressed-up over-the-top, and freezing cold water — what are we all up to?

What do you remember about your New Year’s Days in the past? In Korea, we officially get one year older by eating mandooguk (Korean dumpling soup) on the morning of New Year’s Day. It’s also a long tradition to ring a large bell in Bosingak on Bell Street 33 times at the stroke of midnight to wish for a peaceful year. We all used to stay up to watch the bell ringing because we were told that our eyebrows would turn silver if we fell asleep before midnight! I had a lot of frightening childhood memories of New Year’s Eve.

I did something different this year — I took the plunge. Where? In South Queensferry, Scotland. For what? For the Loony Dook. Why? I don’t know…

 

The Loony Dook, literally meaning ‘lunatic dip’, is a Scottish tradition that started in 1986 as a joke. Gotta love that Scottish humor! Some locals thought jumping in the cold water in the Firth of Forth would be the best hangover cure. Which it is. The following year they decided to repeat the event for charity. Up until now, thousands of people have taken the plunge, raising tens of thousands of pounds for charities across the UK. Now the Loony Dook has become a part of Edinburgh’s official Hogmanay celebrations.

Taking the plunge is the main event of the Loony Dook, but costumes are what makes diving in so special. The scene here looks like the inside of a child’s overactive, imaginative brain. It’s like a humorous and friendly big brother of Halloween. We had people wearing all sorts, from simple swimsuits, a guy with E.T., Nessie the Loch Ness monster, a man with a man-kini (if you don’t know what one is, trust me, you do not need to know), lots of animal onesies, guys dressed up as old ladies, to the guy in the red dress named Sebastian. I wore a modest costume with a lady’s kilt and tartan hat. I felt quite under-dressed.

 

The Forth Bridge

The Forth Bridge

Loony Dook 2015: Photo by Fan Yibo

Loony Dook 2015: Photo by Fan Yibo

The Loony Dookers parading South Queensferry

The Loony Dookers parading South Queensferry (photo credit: Off-the-Path.com)

 

Everything happened so fast. We paraded into South Queensferry and walked right to the beach. There was no hesitation — we ran into the water – just like that. The water was freezing cold. No surprise there, because it was the first day of January in Scotland. The moment the water touched my body I couldn’t help but wonder ‘What did I get myself into?’. It was cold. We all screamed, like frightened little girls. But we did it.

The feeling I had after the plunge made me realize why so many people come here to participate in this loony event. I had just jumped into the freezing water, wearing practically nothing. By this little act of courage, I felt like I could do anything.

New Year’s Day is the time when we all think about our new year’s resolutions and make new promises. Last year’s resolutions might not be all completed, but we just hope that the new list will make it to the end of the new year. Jumping into the Firth of Forth certainly pumped me up big time!

I feel like I can do this. I can make the best of 2015. Because I’m officially Loony Dooked!

 

Lady in Red, named Sebastian

Lady in Red, named Sebastian (photo credit: Off-the-Path.com)

 

#blogmanay is brought to you by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and is supported by ETAG, EventScotland, VisitScotland, Homecoming Scotland 2014 and co-creators Haggis Adventures. Created and produced by Unique Events. As always all opinions expressed here are entirely our own.

 

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .

12 Comments

  1. Stephen says:

    Haha fantastic post! I wanna be Loony Dook. Great way to start the year!

  2. Laura says:

    Seems like such a fun experience and a great way to start the new year. I’m dying to go to scotland.

  3. How cold! But, how fun!

  4. Sebastian says:

    Oh, I so love this post!

    Let’s do this again next year! I’ll wear a wig next time 🙂

  5. This looks like heaps of fun. And Sebastian looks so good in red. 🙂

  6. Lunatic dip? Sounds like an activity for me! =)

  7. Noah says:

    Man, that seems so cold! But, the Scottish know how to do a ice swim better than anyone else in the world!

  8. Leah says:

    Ha! What a fun and seriously LOONY tradition! Good for you for taking the plunge, I like the symbolism of feeling like you can do anything after that courageous act! Hope it turns out to be true for you this year!

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