Bracing! See the horrified, freezing faces as New Year’s Day polar bear dip swimmers plunge into icy water.

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Canadians across the country are participating in a frosty New Year’s Day tradition — the polar bear dip.

Ten people braved freezing temperatures to leap off a snow-covered wharf into the frigid Atlantic in Portugal Cove, N.L.

In Herring Cove, N.S., about 130 people — some in colourful costumes — gathered to jump from a wharf under the watchful eye of members of the local fire department in the 22nd Annual Herring Cove Polar Bear Dip.

Peter J. Thompson / National Post

Peter J. Thompson / National Post

Snow flurries and below-zero temperatures didn’t deter several hundred people from turning out at a Toronto beach to run en masse into Lake Ontario in the 11th annual Toronto Polar Bear Dip.

Organizers of the 31st annual Courage Polar Bear Dip in Oakville, Ont., say they are hoping nearly 1,000 people will take the plunge into Lake Ontario on Friday afternoon.

The oldest Polar Bear Club in the country was founded in 1920 in Vancouver, and since then the tradition has spread. Vancouver’s club is still the largest, with more than 2,500 entries in 2014.

Peter J. Thompson / National Post

Peter J. Thompson / National Post
Peter J. Thompson / National Post

Peter J. Thompson / National Post
Peter J. Thompson / National Post

Peter J. Thompson / National Post
Peter J. Thompson / National Post

Peter J. Thompson / National Post
Peter J. Thompson / National Post

Peter J. Thompson / National Post
Peter J. Thompson / National Post

Peter J. Thompson / National Post

01/01/2016 14:27  By: National Post

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