New Year’s Day torch-lit swim in Füssen in the Allgäu
It has long been a tradition in the Allgäu resort of Füssen to welcome in the New Year with a torch-lit swim. As evening draws in on New Year’s Day up to fifty courageous men and women all of whom are volunteers with local water rescue groups don their wet suits, venture into the icy waters of the river Lech and float downstream passed the old town centre of Füssen holding their torches aloft.
The best viewing spot is on the Theresienbrücke bridge near the former Benedictine St Mang abbey. There is always plenty of mulled wine, punch and hot sausages to keep the spectators warm as they wait and watch the sun slowly sink behind the silhouette of the mountains to the west. As the last swimmer climbs out of the water to safety a barrage of colourful fireworks is fired up and over the river.