The actual cradle of the sauna is in Finland. The Finnish sauna is and remains a symbol of the Finnish way of life. Somewhere in the open air there is a log cabin that is home to a Finnish sauna. Smoke rises from the cracks. Then comes the big moment and the sauna friends can enter the Finnish sauna. While sweating the body relaxes and the soul forgets the everyday worries. And then it's off into the great outdoors. The cool air brings the sauna-goer back to reality and a jump into the next ice lake hardens really well. Taking a sauna in the wide open spaces of nature is something you can only do in Finland.
Between tradition and modernity
The traditional Savu sauna, which is a smoke sauna, is still the only true way of saunaing for many Finns today. Now, in the Savus sauna you are of course not sitting in the smoke and smoking is strictly forbidden. Because before the sauna lovers go into the cabin, there is of course a good ventilation so that the smoke disappears. The soot is wiped off the benches and then it can start.
However, the Finnish sauna has adapted to the changing times in the last decades. Thus, the open fireplaces in the middle of the room were first turned into a cast-iron stove, in which the smoke still passed through the stones but no longer reached the room through a vent. In the meantime, Finnish saunas are usually heated with a wood-burning stove. But electric heaters are also found in Finnish saunas. There is now no trace of smoke.
Customs of the Finnish Sauna
If you go to the Finnish sauna, you have to behave like in a church.
The Finnish sauna is the epitome of conviviality in Finland. Even business people met and still meet in the Finnish sauna to discuss important matters. The Finns are still of the opinion that the best place to do business is in the cosy atmosphere of the Finnish sauna. Of course, you also meet good friends or family members in the Finnish sauna. Among good friends and family it is even common to wash each other's backs to strengthen the cohesion. However, strict rules of conduct also apply in the sauna. Anyone who goes to the Finnish sauna must behave as if they were in a church. At least that is what a Finnish proverb says. The Finnish sauna is a place of peace and quiet and therefore no noise or disturbance is allowed. Even children must follow these rules so that they can go to the Finnish sauna with their parents.
The light, pleasurable pain in combination with the scent of fresh birch leaves makes the Finnish sauna the ultimate.
A special custom in the Finnish sauna, which has spread to the rest of Europe, is the hostage-taking with birch twigs. This stimulates sweating and blood circulation. The birch twig tufts are first dipped in water, then shaken directly over the sauna stove and finally you fight with it. Either you do it yourself or the other sauna users give you a hand. Relatively gently, of course, because nobody should get hurt. The light, pleasurable pain in combination with the scent of fresh birch leaves makes the Finnish sauna the ultimate. And after sweating you jump into cold water, preferably into a hole in the ice. But also rubbing with snow is very popular. Yes, the Finns are just really tough guys who enjoy the Finnish sauna as nature boys.
Finnish sauna - a pleasure not only for Finns
The Finnish sauna is the best deep cleansing for body and soul you can imagine.
Non-Fins may see the Finnish sauna in a different light. In the rest of Europe, the Finnish sauna serves less for social gatherings. However, all sauna friends, whether Finnish or not, agree on one thing: the Finnish sauna is the best deep cleansing for body and soul you can imagine. The composition of heat, scents and stimuli on the skin ensure that you feel like a new person after a sauna session. Through sweating, waste products are flushed out and the immune system is brought back into shape. The Finnish sauna provides better health than any other. In addition to strengthening the immune system, the circulation is stimulated, the muscles are loosened and body and mind can relax properly. The Finnish sauna is a place of healthy sensual pleasures that guarantees total well-being.