It takes the idea of a refreshing swim to a whole new level.

The annual Polar Bear Swim returns to the Cowichan Valley on New Year’s Day.

Hecate Park in Cowichan Bay is holding the swim at 11 a.m. with registration set for 10:30.

The Shawnigan Shiver goes at Government Wharf, registration is at 11 a.m. with the swim at noon.

The Maple Bay swim starts beside the Rowing Club and participants are encouraged to wear costumes. Bagpipers are playing at this event.

The Crofton event starts at noon at the boat launch beside the ferry terminal at the end of Chaplin Street, while the Ladysmith swim is at Transfer Beach, registration starts at 11 a.m.