Monday, December 18

A Guide to Finnish Sauna Etiquette

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The sauna was invented by the Finns, and it is one of their biggest claims to fame, so it is no wonder that they take everything related to saunas very seriously. This includes going to a sauna in Finland, which might be a confusing experience for a foreigner, if you have no idea of what to expect. Read these tips regarding Finnish sauna etiquette to be well prepared if you do end up visiting Finland, and a sauna there:

1.The Finns are completely nude in the saunas, no matter how old they are, or if they are male or female. This is because they want to give all the pores on the body an opportunity to sweat properly. This is usually the most shocking part of Finnish sauna etiquette for tourists.

2.Showering.

Finns shower once before the sauna, because it is considered unsanitary to go to the sauna dirty, and once after the sauna (for obvious reasons). So never enter a Finnish sauna without having showered first!

3.Bring a towel.

In the sauna, you are not supposed to sit directly on the wood, since this, like not showering before the sauna, is considered very unsanitary. Bring a towel or something else to sit on, that does not get too hot while you are sitting on it. Anything plastic might start melting though, since the temperatures in the sauna can be extreme!

4.Do not stare.

You are not supposed to stare at other people’s bodies while in the sauna. Saunas have nothing to do with sexuality for Finns, it is a sanitary act, which is why whole families can be seen going to the sauna together.

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