No Pants Day started off as a prank that bemused a few embarrassed commuters but has since grown into a global phenomenon.
And despite the threat of snow and bleak midwinter temperatures many hardy thrill seekers braved bracing conditions and took to the London Underground on Sunday to take part in the No Trousers Tube Ride 2013.
It was all part of the No Pants Subway Ride’s 13th annual celebration of riding the world’s underground without trousers, with commuters in London joining their counterparts from dozens of cities around the globe to venture out minus their breeches.
The aim is to get on the train without trousers and to keep as straight a face as possible.
Participants behave as if they do not know each other and – other than the lack of trousers – dress appropriately for winter donning hats, scarfs and a warm coat.
The hilarious craze started back in 2002 when a handful of New York pranksters decided to cause a stir on a Subway train.
One participant entered the train in just his underwear for seven consecutive stops and, if asked, were instructed to tell people that they “just forgot” their trousers.
On the 8th stop, a final participant would enter the carriage selling trousers out of a duffle bag – much to the bemusement of other passengers.
The annual event steadily grew each year with more and more people choosing to take part.
But it nearly hit the buffers in 2006 when the stunt was halted by a New York policeman. Eight passengers were handcuffed in their underwear and taken into police custody.
A judge later threw out the case because it is not illegal to wear just your underwear on the Subway.
The No Pants event went global in 2008 with Adelaide in Australia joining eight American cities in taking part in the stunt.
Last year’s event saw tens of thousands of people daring to bare their underwear in 59 cities in 27 countries around the world.
In London alone more than 150 took part.
This year Londoners startled fellow passengers on the Picadilly Line. Unlike freezing London participants, those who took part in New York enjoyed a mild winter day, while those who took off their trousers in Sydney basked in balmy summer weather.
Events also took place in cities such as Sofia, Stockholm, Berlin and Beijing.