( dpa ) - Carnival in Neuburg in the southern German state of Bavaria brought out 1,827 fools willing to jump into the icy waters of the Danube Saturday.
The swimmers, many cheating by wearing synthetic suits, braved a relatively mild water temperature of 4.5 degrees Celsius to swim the 4-kilometre course in front of some 8,000 spectators.
Around 25 hardier fools jumped in wearing nothing but the traditional bathing suit, fortifying themselves along the way from floating stands offering mulled wine.
The swimmers in the 39th event of its kind wore traditional carnival masks and some added fins to their costumes. Topical themes, such as objections to a smoking ban in public places, and the hand-rearing of polar bear Knut in Berlin Zoo were themes.
The event is billed as the largest winter carnival water spectacle in Europe. The Danube River is known as the Donau in Germany.