The Finnish sauna is 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. The tradition of the sauna, carried on unbroken for about two thousand years, is deeply rooted in the nation’s way of life. Sauna bathing is part of the Finnish identity just as essentially as rye bread is part of the customary diet.
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.
The Finnish sauna is a substantial part of Finnish culture … One of the first written mentions of what is believed to be the sauna customs of the forefathers of the Finns was written by the Nestor the Chronicler in 1112. He told of “hot wooden saunas in which naked bathers beat themselves with branches and finally pour cold water over themselves.”
The 612 Sauna Society Co-op was formed in 2016 following our successful Kickstarter campaign. Today we have over 200 members and own and operate a mobile sauna unit, which is currently scheduled this season to be at: Hidden Beach, Vertical Endeavors–Twin Cities Bouldering, Loppet Trailhead in Theodore Wirth Park, and more locations coming soon!
The Finnish Heritage Agency together with sauna associations has drawn up the nomination proposal, Sauna Culture in Finland. Minister of Culture Sampo Terho has signed Finland’s proposal. In 2017, sauna bathing, along with 52 other traditions, was selected for the National Inventory of Living Heritage which the Finnish Heritage Agency maintains. Once inscribed on this list, an element can be nominated for inscription on the UNESCO lists. Preparation is now underway for the next nomination, the fiddle tradition from Kaustinen.
Hot Stuff: Finding the source of Minnesota’s thermaculture boom starts with a trip to the Iron Range
Deep in the remote Iron Range of northern Minnesota on the shores of Lake Vermilion sits the quiet town of Tower, population of about 500. The Minnesohhtan accents here are as thick as they come—right on Main Street, Uffda Thrifts & Gifts shares a building with UBetcha Antiques & Uniques.
… Seventy-year-old Daryl Lamppa is the third-generation owner of Lamppa Manufacturing, which produces wood-burning and electric sauna stoves under its Kuuma brand. Lamppa’s wood stoves are known around the world for being some of the cleanest, most efficient sauna stoves on the market, a fact verified by an EPA certification. But Daryl, a lifelong resident of the area, doesn’t care much about any sort of accolade for his engineering feats—for him, and for his father and grandfather before him, it’s always just been about improving the product.