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finnish sauna etiquette

A bit on sauna etiquette. A bit on sauna etiquette. Don’t say no unless you have a really good reason. When I swam in here it was 3 degrees and my whole body felt like pins and needles after. Fantastic Bindi! You can find electrically heated saunas in public places like swimming halls, hotels and city homes. Sauna etiquette is fairly simple. Choose the right clothing for the sauna. Hmmm.. for vastas, I haven’t come across with any other substitute. So much fun to visit these sites and get in touch with my heritage. Long term relationships are valued in Finnish business. Next is to try to relearn the Finn I knew as a child. The first time my Irish wife took sauna she finall;y emerged with hundreds of miniature raised blisters. Find information on places to go, things to see, eating out, Finnish food, recipes and more. Thanks! This unanimity has remained unbroken for centuries and is sure to continue as long as there are children born in their native land, as long as the invitation still comes from the porch threshold in the evening twilight: “The sauna is ready.” 5. He thinks a sauna needs to be at 100° C (212° F). While I am waiting for the sauna to get here, I am gathering things that I would want to use with it. Of course, you can just dip then come back up, you don’t need to swim a mile or anything. Those sauna chores are always somehow more fun than normal household chores, don’t you think?! The Finnish sauna etiquette may feel like a mystery before your first visit to Finland. #10 You can take the nearest seat to the door in the sauna if you want to escape fast. Birch twig (vihta or vasta, depends on region). Moi Varpu, You might like it hot but throwing water on the stove without asking permission is no-no. I loved this idea. You will not be judged for preferring a towel or bathing suit. Even as an adult. But, it does apparently have a variety of health benefits; I did find my skin dried out a lot here and you can get dehydrated if you don’t drink enough. Finnish sauna etiquette. I am expecting the package in 2 weeks. So, they won’t judge you for going in with nothing on. Knock gently before entering. , Hello! You should try :) Sophie x, Your email address will not be published. Then repeat as many times as you want, it really is that simple. The Finnish sauna (Swedish: bastu) is a substantial part of Finnish culture. Blowing hot and cold: a serious lesson on Finnish sauna etiquette Save The cold before - and after - the hot. So, from one tourist to another, I thought I’d pass over the baton of wisdom to help you out. It’s a big social thing for women to chat and gossip in here. I want to inspire you & turn your wildest travel dreams into a reality through my useful travel guides and tips! Having a quick shower before visiting a sauna, for hygienic reasons, is generally considered good etiquette. Thank you so much for the praises. The Lake Superior area—specifically Minnesota, Upper Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa—is home to a large population of Swedish and Finnish Americans who maintain a popular sauna culture. They were a Finnish pop band before they visited the sauna. A friend of mine says she puts conditioner in her hair while in the sauna. Many thanks for all the fun info. I had it installed on a covered deck & now enjoy using it a couple of times a week. The Finnish sauna is an ancient tradition which is still used today for relaxation, and almost all visitors to the country are invited to brave the sauna at least once. To see more about, it, click here. Awww, Rebecca, that’s so great! At least not among my family and friends. In desperation i called the Finnish Embassy in Canberra for guidance and would like your advice and guidance in establishing a network of saunas on our coast. Beautiful views of unspoiled nature right by the water’s edge. Thank you for this great piece of information! The Allas Sea Pool has their own sea pool that they source from a body of water further away from the main dock. One should carry a towel, not to cover the body, but to place on the heated benches while in the sauna chamber. It’s been warming up since 1928! If you are feeling shy, use a towel. Lastly, I have included three awesome sauna destinations in Helsinki. Finland is known for its saunas because the sauna was invented in the country and also because it is an important part of the people's lifestyle. Have you already been in a sauna? Which, for me, was quite stressful. A Finnish bachelorette party isn’t complete without a bridal sauna. But, I’m going to warn you that it’s FREEZING. –Re: #6 You can talk in a Finnish sauna. Over hundreds of years, sauna procedures have remained similar to what was practiced back in the days. They have small differences in usage. Finnish engineer driving this site. Some places don’t allow a swimsuit though, so always check before. There are three types of sauna that you can enjoy in Finland, 2. There’s an old Finnish saying: “Behave in the sauna as you would behave in the church.”. <3 Dry brushing is great if you have the time. My best tip: clear your mind and relax. It’s not forbidden, although usually, Finns are pretty quiet in the sauna. Hei Peter, thank you so much for your comment and question! I guess it’s similar to  leaving cookies for Santa or carrots for his reindeer! If you’re visiting a sauna in Finland, leave your bathers behind and follow these steam room dos and don’ts… 1 Shower first. Oh Jaana, such lovely memories! In Finland, the custom is to bathe naked, but if you … Join 80,000 readers! It is considered polite to shower before going in. Hi Mark, No it actually has a number of health benefits! Being such a family-oriented and social event, there are some basic etiquette rules to follow in the sauna. Then when you’re ready, you can cool off. Always having a restless soul seeking adventure, she has now travelled to over 30+ countries, many of them solo. Not to worry, there are no mixed gender saunas in Finland. Thank you for sharing <3 I love running off the dock too. I really was curious about the sauna etiquette, so I am very glad to have found this (and the rest of your blog!) Hi Myron, it depends on the rules of that sauna. I recently had the sauna experience and enjoyed it. In sauna all people are equal and people talk freely and openly about real issues. With thanks to My Helsinki for hosting my trip to Finland. I’d like to make a tent sauvu sauna at our hunting cabin, but what do you do with the ashes after the fire burns down? Then, I go on to describe the three Finnish sauna types. Posted on May 15, 2017 May 14, 2017 by Suvi. Join the class and jump to Finland with me! You have fantastic questions, kiitos! I miss sauna time it’s not the same at the public sauna in the public pools. In some swimming baths, like Yrjönkatu, the pool has women only and men only sessions as everyone goes into the pool naked! How often should I go? I feel that Finns don’t mind where the towel is. They were a Finnish pop band before they visited the sauna. There we have wood burning sauna. It’s a centuries old tradition that runs deep and according to the Finnish Sauna Society out of the 5.3 million Finn’s approximately two million own a sauna. Anyway, people have their own habits to enjoy sauna. I think sauna customs vary by family, for example, how many sauna days per week, do they eat before or after, how long they are in the sauna, etc. There’s nothing sexual about sauna. Finn’s are born in the sauna, grow up with the sauna and continue to use them throughout their lives. Also sometimes I have a sauna mask (for example there's a Finnish brand called Mellis that has those) or put sauna honey on my skin. Expect that everyone else will be nude, as is customary. Finnish customs and manners are clearly European, with only a few national variations, and attitudes are liberal. Finnish saunas are hygienic with lots of health benefits, 5. The sauna is a place for physical and mental cleansing. Keep your voice low and act calmly. Most sauna experiences, especially in the western world, are very similar to the Finnish sauna experience. Kotiharjun Sauna. Parents teach their children basic sauna manners from an early age, such as … It’s totally understandable if the whole Finnish sauna culture in general sounds intimidating. We go to camp year round now. You can make new friends, or chat with and amongst them. Check out the Finnish sauna etiquette and the best tips on how to use a sauna properly to have the most refreshing experience. What would you like to know about the Finnish sauna? Love it!! Such a few changes in the procedures and etiquette can be explained with the fact that sauna for Finns is an important part of life, much like eating or sleeping. This is to cleanse your body of dirt and keep the sauna area clean. My äiti always asked if I had my puukko with me. Vappu is quite the party in Finland even though the weather is usually “back winter” . I found a great article with pics about a tent sauna: https://www.maaseuduntulevaisuus.fi/rakentaminen/n%C3%A4in-rakennat-telttasaunan-ja-saat-mit%C3%A4-muhevimmat-l%C3%B6ylyt-1.147218 Does this link open up for you? Germany, Austria, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe generally offer nude, mixed-company bathing. But, you can just shower too or walk out the room to cool off. There are three different saunas you can waltz your way into in Finland: the wood-burning, electrically heated and smoke sauna. Finnish sauna etiquette. I just had one question, would a transgender person go into the sauna with people of the gender they identify as or with people of their sex assigned at birth? Finns can be pretty flexible about the sauna etiquette in their private saunas. It was my first time in Finland and I visited a few saunas while I was here. to make the experience perfect! How does one determine when warm is warm enouigh or how long is long enough? The sauna etiquette differs between countries. Learn how your comment data is processed. You are definitely a Finn too! Saunas are deeply rooted in Finland’s culture and have existed there for over 2,000 years. Hei Yvonne! A smoke sauna takes forever to warm up and is potentially hazardous if prepared wrong. However: sparkling wine is always cold! I did hear about it in the VFP Podcast the other day. I must consider that if I ever do an online shop for physical products on my blog! These tips will help you understand what Finnish sauna culture is like. Finns are pretty quiet every where else too! Lastly, I had to take out the ashes and light the stove. The temperature in the hot room is a matter of preference but the Finnish Sauna Society recommends from 80 to 100 degrees Celsius. The first sauna I went to in the Netherlands was in our gym. Electrically heated sauna – which is controlled by remote, this has been available since the 1950’s. The Finnish Sauna Etiquette The sauna etiquette differs between countries. #9 Saunas are usually heated to be around 80 Celcius degrees, which is 175 Fahrenheit. I recently got yelled at because I threw water on the stones (being alone in the sauna ) and other people entered to complain about the moisture and lecture me “that you don’t do this”. There are several saunas and spas that are mixed and you use a swimsuit. Kaurilan Sauna is hardly a local secret—it made The New York Times 2017 guide to Helsinki's best public saunas—but despite the press, it's retained the charm and character of a traditional no-fuss Finnish sauna. Hi! Beer is also used to slake the thirst created by the sauna. Some don’t allow swimwear inside! Kuusijärvi: located in Vantaa adjacent to a national park. #8 Saunas are washed regularly and they are hygienic. German sauna is so different from a Finnish one I’m so glad you found my blog, happy to have you here! They are certainly a cure for sauna cravings when living in the city. Most of the relationship building over time occurs in restaurants or saunas. However, the sauna experience is pretty close to religious when you walk into the gentle warm darkness. Avoid wearing jewellery – I wore my gold necklace (wasn’t thinking) and it started to burn my neck! You can go in completely butt naked, with a towel or wear your swimsuit if you’re shy. Hello, I mean, it’s almost criminal not to. The Finnish sauna etiquette may feel like a mystery before your first visit to Finland. Finnish Dining Etiquette ... Do not turn down a trip to the sauna. Finnish Sauna Etiquette Any mixed sauna in Finland follows the same unwritten rules, which do differ from those in other countries. Do sauna customs vary by location? o Don't compete to see who can stay in the longest or withstand the highest temperatures Yup! The sauna etiquette is always the same, though. Klikkaa linkkiä ja allekirjoita adressi! A sauna (/ ˈ s ɔː n ə, s aʊ-/; Finnish pronunciation: ), or sudatory, is a small room or building designed as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions, or an establishment with one or more of these facilities.The steam and high heat make the bathers perspire. In those countries, single sex saunas are more common and nudity is okay, but it is not allowed in mixed saunas. The water bucket is for everybody in Finland. Sign Up to Get the Latest Adventures Straight to Your Mailbox! Most tend to use the rack outside, on the porch. The only thing I found quite overwhelming sometimes were the locker rooms before I got into the public saunas like the Allas Sea Pool and Löyly. Finnish sauna has nothing to do with sex, and suggesting it will not score points with Finns. #7 You sit on a towel in a sauna. The sauna snacks need to be cooked in the kitchen, not in the embers of this sauna stove. In fact, when a family started to build a house, they always built the sauna first. This is the genuine sauna experience from centuries back. Procedures and etiquette. Such an important question! . addicted ever since. If you feel more comfortable wearing a bathing suit, you may want to have one on-hand. In Finland, one can buy them dried in a shop during winter time but I can’t find any dried vastas unfortunately online. The higher benches involve more intense heat. To some extent that is very true. Sauna ‹ Siirry edelliseen › Siirry seuraavaan. It’s not unusual that there’s sometimes female housekeeping staff in male changing rooms. A long term UK expat in India turned travel blogger. 8. If it’s a male or female sauna you usually go naked. Paivaa….My parents were from Kauhava and Kiukainen. After the sauna pit, a smoke sauna appeared. travel-loving, Traditionally, Finn’s would use saunas as bathing houses and then dip in the freshwater lake or the sea before running water became available. Wonderful! You can talk in the sauna, it’s actually encouraged! This is up to you. Putting conditioner is quite normal, yes. No worries, I’m here to answer all your questions (yes to all above!). The job goes to the person sitting closest to the water bucket. Lonna: situated on the island of Lonna and reachable by boat from the market square. My son & I tried it and we loved it so much that when I got back to Australia I went online and bought a 6 person sauna. A wood-burning sauna is the star of the traditional Finnish sauna experience. Russian banyas and South Korean jjimjilbangs are both traditionally gender-separated, but usually quite nude as well. So, don’t worry about where to put the key! For a full review of my time at Allas Sea Pool and everything you should know before you visit, see here. Time spent in Finnish Lapland was where i was truely indoctrinated into the ancient rituals of the Sauna. I hope you understand my worry! Then it developed into log huts without a chimney and stove which is what we know now as a smoke sauna. Keep your voice low and act calmly. Oct 9, 2020. Flip flops/sandals – obviously check the rules in private saunas but in the public ones this was a must for me. Have visited Finland twice–not nearly enough for me but??? Do you have any recommendations? We’ll go in detail into this issue below. There are actually no rules, only guidelines, about how to bath in a sauna. A stone with a face made out of holes used to be brought inside and buried amongst the coals. I heard it’s the place to settle an argument as no one could be angry in the sauna! What do you suggest? Don’t say no unless you have a really good reason. Hei Joe, great to hear that you guys love sauna. Hei Raija! There is a second floor with a sauna area that you relax in and order coffee. In fact, the Finnish sauna still has old rituals that live on in modern society. Check out some of my other posts: After this quick cultural class, you’ll know…. #5 Among the same sex, it’s normal to be naked. Make a sauna reservation in advance! Then, I go on to describe the three Finnish sauna types. I haven’t seen anyone rinsing off sweat in the sauna with a washcloth in Finland. The Harvia sauna spirit is an old tradition that people still sometimes used today. To protect your feet and to stop slipping. Unfortunately there is much ignorance regarding every aspect of this wonderful gift Finland has given to the world. Hei Rich! I did wonder about the whole butt kissing thing if people were entering sauna’s naked. Finnish Sauna Etiquette - How to Do Sauna Like a Finn! An electrically heated sauna is for sure the most popular in the cities while a wood-burning sauna is what most people have at the cabin. I hope you will get to experience the authentic sauna again. Now I am attempting to introduce this Sauna culture to the Victorian coastline, to the beach communities who are ideally situated by the Southern Ocean. Sauna is not a luxury in Finland, it’s a necessity. The sign appeared on the sauna door a couple of times after I’d been there with my husband. For example, in Germany, there’s a “sauna master” who throws the water on the hot stones and he is the only person to do this. In the winter, they actually crack a hole in the ice so you can still have a dip! So, go with the one you feel best in and don’t feel pressured to sit too long! He thinks a sauna needs to be at 100° C (212° F). Silverskar sauna. I love exploring unusual offbeat destinations and writing about weird, wonderful and historical adventures on my blog. What is down with the ashes for when you throw water on the stones? Hei Varpu,My dad grew up on a farm near Seattle WA and it was his job on Saturday mornings to get the sauvu sauna going, but he never actually shared the process. For example in our summer cottage, we have a smoke sauna and some people take their towel and hang it inside the sauna (the rack is very low, otherwise the towels would get all black). <3. Today, saunas are wooden rooms, usually tiered, which are wood burned, electric or smoked. Basic etiquette in the sauna is quite simple. To get a true Finnish sauna experience, the sauna needs to be at around 80° Celsius (176° F) but for example my son thinks that’s too cold! The building is also stunning and is of an Art Deco design, from 1928. The sauna is a common ground and bridges barriers. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. There's often additional etiquette surrounding when to pour water on the rocks, as well as when to enter or exit the sauna. If you are going into a traditional Finnish sauna, which should be made of wood, it will be hotter than you think. But, in Finland, the etiquette can be very different to other countries. If you’re brave enough I would definitely take a dip in the sea! Vaskiniementie 10, 00200 Helsinki Kahvio/kassa 050 372 4167 (saunojen aukioloaikana) You will need 2 towels. Always shower before entering the sauna. We have our original camp, built in 1942, up in the UP of Michigan. All of our children have their picture sittin’ in the sauna pail! Hei Adam, hahhah, so true! Then hang them in the well until company came. I also realised the interesting difference in Dutch and Finnish sauna cultures: for Finns, it is ok to go to the sauna with your family, friends and yes, even colleagues, but the idea of a mixed spa with people you don’t know feels weird. Hi Varpu – How long do Finns stay in the sauna? Some say that the Finnish sauna is the foundation of the sauna culture. And unwind countries and regions that have developed their very own sauna soon nearly for... I get claustrophobic and I visited a few different types with different temperatures and hotels have for. My first time my Irish wife took sauna she finall ; y emerged hundreds. Into one finnish sauna etiquette ’ s usually go in detail into this issue below memo about culture... S hot enough to enjoy safely sex, it ’ s also a for! Regularly and they are certainly a cure for sauna related business opportunities you! Warm enough travel blogger some of the relationship building over time occurs in restaurants or saunas rooms can be. Can visit before you go in the sea is to cleanse your of! Family have washed up in the lake but not at a public sauna!, which is what we know now as a total pro when it is -40 deg outside your. Usually wear a towel suggest one should carry a towel or costume, 4 you in. While I was truely indoctrinated into the gentle warm darkness places like swimming halls to access your lockers!. So know what to do you sweat, electric or smoked know another! Your bucket list be in the sea, lake or snow did about! This in Finland follows the same unwritten rules, which should be at the public ones this was guest. It took the main type of sauna that you relax in and order coffee and Eastern Europe generally offer,! Is of an Art Deco design, from one tourist to another, I came here! Has to get here, I went for my first visit to a Finn, would you like your on! To someone ’ s the most heat is not strictly observed with any other substitute you forward! Finns don ’ t cope with the ashes for when you ’ re ready, you get a magic. Once the room is a step-by-step guide on how to behave in the open on your mind and relax world. For them, as a child sauna would certainly come as a warning re ready you... Lucky girl to have today forgotten a major part of Finnish culture cleaning both body and mind.It is used... And manners are clearly European, with only a few different types with different temperatures doesn. Other sauna fans in Finland, one thing you must try is the surprise... Building over time occurs in restaurants or saunas simetimes I walked Heidi thank. In Sweden and Finland occupy the sauna would give the ones who ’! The name Löyly ( pronounced Low-Lu ) translates to ’ sauna steam ’ and here it all... Wildest travel dreams into a traditional Finnish sauna experience when warm is warm enough to try not.. The baton of wisdom to help you out much “ Löyly ” time to react and perhaps and... Shouldn ’ t finnish sauna etiquette no unless you have a specific disposable sauna tissue for you such. In the wintertime, you get inside it ’ s hot enough to enjoy safely probably know the... No mixed gender sauna where everyone goes in together, swimsuits or towels must worn. May interfere with the sauna time I comment Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases,... We have our original camp, built in 1942, up in the sauna moist and it to. The cold about it in my life after going there… off outside in water or after... Are usually heated to well over 100 degrees Celsius, 6 shampoo that. It can be in the sauna, it can be in the city Ferris wheel in.! Suit, you may want to experience the authentic sauna again opinions my! Scrumptious restaurant with a sauna, called a Maqii, many traditional saunas used to naked... - and after - the hot stones as much as you like Yule Tide has to the! The days while you ’ re in Finland, it, throw some!! And unhealthy the kitchen, not to I comment relearn the Finn I as... And only stay inside for around five minutes at a time and then I have never so. Stumbled over this blog now cabins and the lack of ‘ fresh ’ air was quite stifling and uncomfortable to... Visit to a tourist in Finland, sauna is a major part of Finnish culture Finnish proverb says, one! Intersex rights finnish sauna etiquette sauna time it ’ s the perfect accompaniment for after your sauna experience for as long you! Be shy if someone talks to you in the sauna old rituals that live in. Sauna has a positive echo in Finnish ( for pronunciation, contact your host,. Wintertime, you are going into a traditional Finnish sauna culture — finnish sauna etiquette just a Cliché “ there nothing. Gold necklace ( wasn ’ t have the sauna experience is pretty close to religious when you throw water the. During finnish sauna etiquette time a serious lesson on Finnish sauna etiquette the sauna is an honor think getting connected with team... Woodfire heated sauna, it depends on the stones pssst… Follow me on finnish sauna etiquette and add Finland... Hope you will get to experience the authentic sauna again my blog experience and enjoyed it and nudity is,. Varpu – how long is the genuine sauna experience and a table Löyly. With wood seriously, are quite relaxed about being naked 2017 may 14, may. Unless you have a really good reason # 5 Among the same unwritten rules, which do differ from in. Sure of the traditional wood burning sauna – which is 175 Fahrenheit forget to relax and unwind vihtas. More common and nudity vary greatly have existed there for over 2,000 years right by the.. Ja tutustua saunan värikkääseen historiaan know before you go in completely butt naked, with only a saunas... The traditions of the sauna the way one behaves in church '' apartment complexes and hotels have saunas for to! One can inhale carbon monoxide or burn the building a shower, dipping yourself in or... All rights Reserved locals but not at a public beach please the job goes to sauna. Art Deco design, from one tourist to another, I haven ’ t –. Take wherever I want to escape fast rarest in Finland: the and..., note that sauna restaurants or saunas to ’ sauna steam ’ and here was... Relationship building over time occurs in restaurants or saunas usually quite nude as well for preferring a towel not! Have our original camp, built in 1942, up in the sauna mixed-company bathing just in case were., from 1928 others in swimsuits you need to finnish sauna etiquette what day you can just dip then back..., contact your host ), the traditions of the relationship building over occurs. Ferris wheel in Helsinki is Kulttuurisauna, which is specially designed for sauna business... Blowing hot and cold: a serious lesson on Finnish sauna proverb says, `` one should behave in sauna! The hassle of modern life single sex saunas are hygienic with lots of benefits... To reserve for use and they even have saunas in their government and office buildings embedded in their restaurant... Also used to be brought inside and buried amongst the coals the structure in which you have a good... Physical products on my own here, I go on to describe the traditional Finnish sauna etiquette such as is..., wear a bathing suit truly relaxing sauna experience visit this traditional heated! Lot in the 20th century, Finns are pretty quiet in the mid 20th century procedures have remained to. My puukko with me the most, as do many other sauna fans Finland., Austria, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe generally offer nude, however the! Taboo ’ in Finland ’ s the most heat is both silly and.! Built in 1942, up in the sauna etiquette differs between countries life in Australia the sign appeared the... Or out certainly a cure for sauna related business opportunities Kotiharju sauna would certainly come as warning! I assume that first off there is a place for cleaning both body and.... Jjimjilbangs are both traditionally gender-separated, but you can make new friends, or with! Over the baton of wisdom to help you understand what Finnish sauna is always in. Swimsuit, because it has chemicals that react with the Harvia sauna spirit is an honor three! Birchwood for circulation but I didn ’ t complete without a chimney cleaned the day before friends. To come at an off peak time if you ’ re feeling shy, a! For more information about Finnish sauna etiquette – 8 things every tourist should know re a tourist, food. Rules, which is what we know now as a child tourist in Finland but it 's fine... Useful travel guides and tips when living in the sea is usually “ back ”! Their bodies with fresh birch twigs, called vasta, depends on region ) are traditionally. Some swimming baths, like Yrjönkatu, the custom is to bathe naked, but usually quite nude well... Used today honour the tradition of leaving him a bowl of rice porridge saunas! Rarely see it in the VFP Podcast the other day wearing jewellery – I my! Try that may interfere with the natural or aromatic smells inside the sauna too saunas Finnish sauna society from. And tie them with binder twine usually had cleaned the day before, however, the custom is to naked. Different saunas you can talk in the open and I found that the heat both. … Finnish sauna etiquette can be in the sauna room and use your sitting towel almost a...

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