The Don'ts of a Finnish Sauna

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35 gedachten over “The Don'ts of a Finnish Sauna”

  1. Yes! “sow-nuh”! I’m originally from NE Minnesota where there are a lot of Finnish Immigrants. We always grew up pronouncing it the correct way. When I moved to Minneapolis for college I heard people say “saw-nah” and it always made me cringe. It sounded so strange to my ears. Now I’m used to it and almost don’t notice. But when someone here does say it right I get so excited! 😂
    I’ve taken so many saunas in my 39 years. It’s really a relaxing time. It’s very common for people where I’m from originally to have their own sauna and it might have been built by their great Grandfather. My parents’ farm was built by a Finnish farmer and our garage started out as a small log sauna and then they built a garage onto it. You wouldn’t know the garage has a sauna now unless you went in the side door which is the entrance to sauna.

  2. Important: keep the door closed at all times and don't get out from the sauna when someone pours water on to the stove. That is wasting the precious heat and steam. Also an absolute rule is that if you pour the water, you sit down untill all water is vaporized. Otherwise you are making just a heat bomb for your friends.

  3. Czech here, I've been lately really enjoying saunas and finding our about different sauna habits around the world. The sauna tradition in Czech Republic isn't so strong, but it still is extremely common to go to sauna regularly.
    Usually we have 2 basic types of sauna, one we call "finnish" sauna, usually set to 100°C with very little humidity (no water buckets to pour over hot stones) and one we call "steam" sauna, which is usually so filled with steam that you can barely see. There is also infrared sauna, which does nothing for me, so I can't comment about it.
    Saunas are often mixed gender, you get a large white textile sheet to cover yourself (lot of people don't use it and just go naked inside, but generally it is common courtesy to cover your private parts with the sheet). I've never been to a sauna where swimsuits are allowed, they are strictly prohibited. You stay in as long as you can, then cool yourself in cooling pool with cold water, or take a cold shower and then take a rest. Traditionally repeat about 3 times. Sauna hats are not really a thing here, but the more east you go, the more hats you will see (especially Ukraine and Russia). Whipping with the wet branches is also not common, but becomes more common if you go east.

  4. 5:20 That is slightly inaccurate. It is very common to talk about work, life, philosophy and politics in a sauna – even with complete strangers. I don't mean small talk, actual heavy stuff. Civil debate is allowed in a sauna, but you must take extra care to listen your new pals arguements and emphasize with their position – even if you strongly disagree. Raising your voice to outshout the other party is rude and merely shows your own intellectual deficiencies.

  5. One thing to mention is that while Sauna is said to be a traditional and sacred thing it doesn't mean there's strict rules to it. If you want to use bathing suit, people won't shout at you. Some places may have a rule not to use the bathing suit if you're coming from the pool because of possible bacteria, but people won't really care. Also talking if others are talking is quite ok. Finns aren't that strict about rules regarding sauna is what I'm saying, so don't be afraid to go there. Common courtesy goes a long way there.

  6. you forgot that don't be afraid of the vasta/vihta what ever you wanna call that thing you might use in sauna you know that bunch of birch tree leafs or so…it really feels good to smack yourself around with that 🙂 or let someone else smack you around and they can get better to your back than you can 🙂

  7. One more don't: don't forget to wear slippers!!

    I went to the Loyly Sauna in Helsinki, and when I walked out of the Sauna I slipped on the wet floor and broke my collarbone! In hindsight I wish I wore something on my feet, so do it as you will not regret it like I did!! It was certainly a travel experience I did not forget though!

  8. I remember in Ostrobothnia, that we always prepared an sauna makkara. Its a finnish sausage you wrap tinfoil around and place it right on the stones. Always have ice-cold bear and put mustard on the makkara. And you eat it, as a celebration for a good sauna. And if you've the chance to try smoke sauna (savu sauna) just doit. Its my favorite type of sauna.

  9. A Good story again. If you want a traditional sauna experience… smoke sauna is the best if you can find one. A sauna with no chimney but ventilation hatches and it is heated for a long time with wood (at least 2-4 hours). When the wood is charred in the stove, water is thrown over the stove stones, several times. This way the carbon monoxide is removed from the sauna. The ventilation hatches are closed and then you can take a sauna. The best sauna ever…

  10. When I was 17 years old I spent a summer living in Kajaani. (I am an American). Sauna was a daily thing that was new to me. I LOVED it. 120 degrees F, with the bucket of water and birch branches to kind of swat yourself with. I never felt healthier. And the post sauna meal of sausage and karelian pie and of the coffee and the bread. I gained 15 pounds in less than 3 months, even with the sauna. I want to go back and visit so badly. I am an introvert so the quietness suited me well. Thank you for all of your travel videos.

  11. my wife is Finnish. good advise but Finns do not follow it. Marty Sender You Tube. my free music will make you sweat like a sauna. You missed a BIG TRADITION with Finnish sauna, man.
    BIRCH BRANCHES!!! you whack yourself and anyone else who wants it, with birch branches in the sauna. then go ROLL IN THE SNOW.

  12. Having been to Finland many times I have been to the sauna many times with my Finnish friends and with the family when on holiday. I was told that the Finns use the sauna to gauge character, if you can take the heat you're in. I think I passed the test. The Finns are reserved, but once you gain their trust you have friends for life.

    My friends would take beer in and sometimes throw some on the coals, wow what a smell!. It's also common to wrap sausages in foil and cook them on the coals. I love Finland and the Finns.

    BTW, my Google name is derived from Finnish for Print Hall as I used to work in the newspaper industry.

  13. Very accurate. Something about the nakedness: yes, usually you go to sauna naked. However, that is just a practical thing because in most cases you wash yourself in the sauna; that is the original purpose of having a sauna, and it would be less practical to wash if you had any clothes on. There is no ideological reason or demand of being naked, so if it bothers you, wear a swimsuit. A well known, if a bit touristy sauna in Helsinki called Löyly is a mixed sauna where you wear swimsuits; it is quite ok. But it is way more common that you go to sauna naked, and in most places it is sort of a code that you follow.

    At swimming halls it is usually compulsory to be naked in the sauna, as there is the hygiene reason. If you swet in the sauna, take a shower fast still your swim suit on and go to the pool it is not good. You should swet and shower naked and put a clean swimsuit on.


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