Sauna Culture in Finland

finnish saunaIt is said that there is more than one sauna for every three people in Finland. That is how big saunas are in the country. Almost every Finn go to a sauna at least once a week, in an effort to de-stress after a long work week or just because it feels natural to them.

Saunas go back to when the men worked the fields and going to one helped keep them clean and relaxed. In the old days, women gave birth in saunas because these were cleaner than hospitals. Today, most people believe that saunas have healing properties.

And while you might see naked men in saunas, you need to get your head out of the gutter. Saunas are rarely sexual. In fact, there are separate saunas for men and women, while children are told to behave like they were in a church if they go inside one. Saunas are more than just a spa for the Finnish, they are a tradition.

There are three types of saunas that are found in the country. There’s the electric sauna powered by an electric stove and is the most common type because it is also the safest and easiest to operate. There is the wood heated sauna where stones are placed on a metal stove that is heated by fire wood or birch wood. And the last is the smoke sauna, which is known as the original sauna. This type can get temperatures of up to 160 centigrades and the sauna is filled with smoke.

Just some rules:

1. Switch off or do not bring your mobile phones into a sauna.

2. No drinking or eating while inside the sauna.

3. Speaking is greatly discouraged.

4. Swimsuits or clothes are not allowed, this way every part of your body is clean.

 

And remember not to do this:

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And oh, keep in mind that you could lose as much as 1 quart of water after 20 minutes in the sauna. We also heard that saunas can make Asian men impotent, though we hardly believe this because Finnish men still have kids after a lifetime of going to a sauna.

Lastly, no pets in the sauna too, unless you have your own sauna and you have this cat:

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