Sitting stoically in a piping-hot room has formed a central part of Finnish culture for thousands of years. The Finnish Sauna Society carries a reputation as the devoted nurturer and maintainer of the sauna tradition that Finns hold so dear. We look inside this exclusive yet modest club just outside Helsinki.
For the uninitiated, there's a certain amount of custom and etiquette associated with the sauna, but follow these tips and you won't go wrong. For the rest of us, here are five of the best public saunas in the Finland:. Finland's best-known savusauna smoke saunain a log cabin in a heart of Finland's lakes district, is said to be the world's largest, though it can seem pretty cosy when filled to capacity with more than 60 people!
The Finnish sauna etiquette may feel like a mystery before your first visit to Finland. T here might be several questions on your mind! This article explains a very short history of the Finnish sauna culture and dives into the practical things: How to enjoy sauna like a Finn and what are the key elements of the Finnish sauna etiquette.
Business Traveller. Facebook Twitter Email. CNN — Walking into a public sauna complex in Helsinki as a foreigner, you could be forgiven for feeling a little unsure about what to do.
My memories of childhood are faulty and largely lacking, but I can effortlessly recall my jubilant terror as I emerged naked from our sauna in Vermont beside my father and uncles, who, steaming like newborns in the winter air, would whoop and leap into the snow, churning out hurried snow angels amidst a torrent of Norwegian curse words, a language they could only access while buck naked and covered in ice. What could possibly be pleasurable about such a practice? The snowdrifts knifed at your bare skin, your butt and feet rubbed raw by the frost, but in those moments just after, as your heart churned from such thermal whiplash, you felt wonderfully, impossibly alive.
What would you say to this proposition? We were traveling with a small group of people we had only known for a few days in Finnish Lapland and the evening activities involved dinner and Finnish sauna. I spent an entire afternoon stressing out about exactly what was going to happen because, first, a little something was lost in transition and it sounded like we were having dinner in the sauna.
In the course of centuries, many nations have practised sweat bathing. In some places the practice died out, elsewhere it disappeared for a long time and was later picked up again. The Finnish sauna is also a sweat bath but of a distinctive kind. It has been influenced by both the Eastern and Western bath cultures but has also developed some genuinely national features.
A fact to consider: Finland is home to 5. At one per household, the sauna is as common as a kitchen or bedroom in Finnish homes. Saunas are traditionally positioned lakeside for good reason.
There is nothing more Finnish than sauna, and many Finns think you can not grasp Finland or its culture without bathing in a sauna. However, Finns understand that foreigners have certain inhibitions and concerns when it comes to stepping in a heated box with no clothes on. Have a look at our tips below and you need to worry no more.