Except for once on New Year's Day, when several hundred converge on the beach for the annual Polar Plunge.

Every year, while the rest of the city is just beginning to

Every year, while the rest of the city is just beginning to battle their hangovers from the night before, a group of brave humans gather at Lake Washington to greet the New Year head on.

Hundreds line up to jump into the frigid waters in an admirable display of fortitude known as the Polar Plunge. This year was no different, as the frozen masses shivered and clattered their way into the lake and quickly back out to cocoon themselves with towels. Those who survived the ordeal were awarded the noble “Polar Bear Badge.”

According to Seattle Parks and Rec, “Plungers are ‘polarized’ towards two styles. Some luxuriate in the refreshingly brisk waters. Others only stay in as long as they can ‘bear’ it.”

Check out our slideshow from yesterday’s plunge here to see if you can spot the two styles.

People from all around gather for the event, lining the shores of the tiny park five deep.

For the privilege of running headlong into freezing cold water, dunking their heads under it…

And running back out as fast as possible to secure the nearest towel.

Based on the exceptionally awesome expressions of those who took the dunk…

…it would be safe to say the water was as cold as it appeared to be.

The frigid water did not stop folks from having fun, though.

Couples took selfies (or is this an us-ie?).

And dragged one another through the water.

Friends tried to pull friends in.

And posed for group photos.

Once the fun was over, swimmers tried numerous methods to warm up, including this less than conventional tactic.

At the end of the day they all collected the coveted Polar Plunge 2014 badge, and went to find warmer waters.

At the end of the day they all collected the coveted Polar Plunge 2014 badge, and went to find warmer waters.

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