When we think of visiting Finland there are two or three things that come to mind. The first one might be the northern lights in Lapland. The second one is probably the Finnish sauna. One of the traditions of this country that most attract our attention. And, probably, also one of the least known. If you want to know everything about the sauna in Finland, read on. Although the best way to get to know it is to try it.
From Exoticca we recommend you to forget the shame. The experience is worth it in every way. You will relax, you will eliminate toxins and you will know the Finnish culture in a completely new way.
Ten things you should know about the Finnish sauna
1.- Who can enjoy the sauna
The experience is beneficial for everyone. It is only contraindicated for people with injuries and for babies. It is also not the best idea if you have a low voltage. For the rest, anyone can enjoy a relaxing time in a Finnish sauna.
2.- What can I do if I get an invitation for a Finnish sauna?
It may sound strange, but receiving an invitation to enter the Finnish sauna is very common. It is a place for cleaning both body and soul. The most important rule is that you are comfortable so you can enjoy it.
3.- An honour you should not decline
An invitation to share the Finnish sauna should be taken as an honour. If you are going to reject it, it is better that you have a good excuse or you might offend your hosts. The way to face it is that being naked, nobody can hide anything from the rest. It is an absolute communion. Also of a kind of intimacy for which not everyone is prepared.
4.- How is the inside of the sauna?
The good news is that a Finnish sauna is a closed place with very dim lighting. You are not there to observe others. And nobody has come to see you. There are no lights or ambient music. At most, you will enjoy the aroma of hot tar or birch.
5.- Do I need to do it naked?
The custom in Finland is to go to the sauna completely naked. You must remove your clothes before entering. It is polite to take a light shower before. Nothing happens if you prefer to cover yourself with a towel. The Finns know that not everyone shares their disinhibition. At the end, it is customary to swim in a lake or roll through the snow. No, they are not crazy. In European spas, there is a similar habit: contrast baths.
6.- Are there mixed saunas?
In general, women share the Finnish sauna with other women and men with other men. Families do use the sauna in common, regardless of gender. In case you are in a mixed group, it is best to ask first. Communication is the best way to avoid uncomfortable situations. Remember, the sauna in Finland is something completely natural. As much as going out for a beer in our country.
7.- What is the vast?
Especially in summer, Finnish use the “vast” or “vihta” used. Both terms refer to the same. Although the name varies depending on the Finnish region in which you find yourself. It is a small bunch of birch branches that they use inside the Finnish sauna to hit the skin. It is not an aggressive act, but a light massage. Your skin will notice the combined benefits of the sauna and the vast. And the aroma is very nice.
8.- How long should I stay in the Finnish sauna?
Do not worry. If you go with Finns, they will guide you. If you go alone or with your travelling companions, you just have to remember that the trick is to feel good. Put water on the stones when you consider it necessary. You can also enter and leave the sauna as many times as you want. The idea is to enjoy.
Drinking a lot of is vital when you go to a Finnish sauna. Water, cider or beer are the three star drinks. The key is not to become dehydrated. If you want to give your experience an even more Finnish dimension, try roasting sausages on aluminium foil on the rocks of the sauna. Of course, make sure you choose a place where it is allowed. You will not have eaten in a more exotic place in your entire life, will you?
10.- General rules
It is said that Finns close more business deals in the sauna than in the meeting rooms. However, this does not mean that there are a lot of rules to follow. On the contrary, as we have repeated more than once, the main idea is to relax and enjoy the Finnish sauna.
Do you die for trying it? Get in touch with us and we’ll take you straight to Helsinki. Enjoy your Finnish sauna! Or, ask us for the best winter trip this year.