The Loony Dook – where to start! This event may seem crazy to a lot of people, but it has been an annual tradition amongst Scots since 1986 where three locals dived into the Forth as a joke to cure their New Year’s Day hangover.
Yep, you heard right! Every year hundreds of people from across Scotland come together on the banks of the Firth of Forth in South Queensferry and immerse themselves in the chilly ocean water. Most people come dressed up as their favourite characters, in a variety of fancy dress, scantily clad, or even fully clothed from the night before all in good faith of raising money for their chosen charities. Of course, the crisp sea air and freezing water is also an effective way to shake off the Hogmanay hangover and start your new year fresh and alert.
Before braving the water, Dookers will march the length of South Queensferry High Street, led by the Noise Committee drummers as part of the Dookers’ Parade, before launching into the sub-zero Firth of Forth.
This is a rare experience that is unique to Scotland and something you won’t be able to find anywhere else. If you’re not brave enough, spectators are welcome to cheer on the Dookers at various points along the route or down on the beach!
The name ‘Loony Dook’ is an amalgamation of ‘Loony’, which is short for lunatic, and ‘Dook’ which is a Scots term for ‘dip’ or ‘bathe’.