Szekler scuba divers set up an underwater Christmas tree in Kovászna/Covasna county, in the artificial lake of Dálnok/Dalnic. Braving a cold of -6 degrees Celsius, and heavy winds, Jenő Szabó and three other divers broke the 10 cm (4 inches) thick ice covering the lake and dived into the water of only 1 degree taking a Christmas tree into the deep. The tree was later decorated underwater with stones and orbs wrapped in paper.
The “scuba diver Christmas” is a worldwide tradition among divers, and it is also the fifth occasion in Dálnok that they set up a Christmas tree in the local lake. With this attention-grabbing action, the divers would like to popularize their water therapy activities for handicapped people. Since clinical tests prove that listening to music underwater improves the children’s communication skills and their quality of life, the divers organize free water therapy for handicapped children in the summertime. This year 150 children with autism, Down-syndrome, learning disorders or other disabilities participated in these therapies.
Diving under the lake’s ice cover
The artificial lake for divers covers one thousand square meters, runs nine meters deep and is home to plants and fish, including hundreds of golden crucian and tearing carp that can be seen under the surface. The lake is unique in Europe and is the brainchild of internationally renowned diver Jenő Szabó, who participated in an expedition led by Jacques Cousteau and was also the subject of a Discovery Channel documentary a few years ago. The lake is open to visitors (both divers and non-divers) between May and September, so if you visit Székelyföld/Szeklerland during summertime, it is definitely worth checking out. If you are there you can even drink a beer (!) under water in the unique underwater pub, opened this summer by Szabó’s son, Kolos.
(Images: Kolos Szabó)