Europe braves the plunge on New Year's Day

In The Netherlands, thousands of thrill seekers blew off their Christmas cobwebs and dipped into the icy cold North Sea as part of a New Year's Day tradition in the seaside town of Scheveningen.

Meanwhile, hundreds gathered in Rome to watch the traditional Tiber River New Year's plunge on Sunday, with one veteran diver dedicating his dive to the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Following the true Roman tradition, four Italian divers jumped into the river from a 15-metre-high bridge to welcome in the New Year.

And in Berlin, members of the Berliner Seals swimming club braced the cold waters of the capital's Lake Orankesee. Members donned fancy dress outfits to take the plunge and reflected on their goals for the new year.

See the full video in the player above.