Sauna and Finland…

When we open our eyes in the mornings, our everyday life begins from that moment on. In the olden days, the eyes of many Finns opened for the first time in the sauna. It was a place that was considered the purest place for birth, for example. Many lifetime excursions finally ended up in the sauna as they closed their eyes and the dead bodies were washed in the cold sauna as well before putting them to rest underground.

Finnish sauna practices very often include bath whisk, which are often made in summer from yard birch. In cities, the most popular ones are most often bought in shops where dry ones are also sold and then dipped in the water so that they become usable. So the bath whisks are made from the branches of the tree we call birch. Birch can also be used to collect juice that you can drink. Juice is healthy and cleanses the body.

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We usually run outside from hot sauna rolling in the cold snow in winter time. My friends usually build a sauna from ice cubes by the river in the winter, which is made entirely of chopped saws. I have also built my first self-sauna on the age of eleven with one of my childhood best friends. It was a floating sauna that we sailed along the river with. In the fall, we used to burn parlor candles outside the ferry and inside where we got light. There are many different variations of saunas in Finland.

The most bizarre of them perhaps, what I have heard of, has been a diving sauna which moves under water and it is located in Kokkola, Finland. Saunas are also floating and underground, and some of them are smoke saunas and some are electric saunas.

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The first saunas were actually just pits with heated stones and then covered with animal soles. Before, the saunas often had cauldrons heated with hot water. My father’s old work buddy had once fallen into a cauldron that had been filled with hot water as a child. As a result, his body was just scar tissue down his neck. But saunas are not usually so sad places. There you can just relax and just enjoy your life. After that you usually feel very comfortable and fresh.

Pentti Haukipuro

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