- In Finland,
the Sauna plays an important part in socializing. Family gatherings
and even business meetings take place in the Sauna. Participants
are not allowed to leave the Sauna until a deal is made (just
- There is
1 Sauna for every 4 people in Finland. That's more Saunas than
- Finns behave
in a Sauna as they would in church. It's a very spiritual experience.
- Many Finns
have 2 Saunas, one for their residence and one for their summer
cabin by a lake.
- A typical
20-minute Sauna session can extract 1 qt. of water from the body.
- Finns often
use short bundles of birch branches, called "vihtas",
to tap against their bodies to stimulate the skin. These same
birch branches can be laid on top of the rocks for a few seconds
while water is poured through them to create a very pleasant birch
aroma in the room.
- Many Russians
like a very hot Sauna where temperatures around 300° F are not
uncommon. They wear a woolen cap in the Sauna to protect their
ears and mouth from the high heat.
- High temperature
in the Sauna is comfortable because humidity is very low.
- Saunas are
even used in hot climates like Saudi Arabia because once you take
a Sauna, the outside air feels cooler and you sweat less.
- In the wintertime
many Finns will roll in the snow or jump in an icy lake after
Sauna. This creates a very unusual tingling sensation all over
- Every year
there is a contest in Finland to see who can stay in the Sauna
the longest. They also have a wife-carrying contest where the
runner completes a race with his wife on his back.
- In earlier
times Finns would first build their Sauna and then their house.
- When present
day Philadelphia was first settled in the 1600's by Finns and
Swedes they named the area Sauna. The first Sauna was built where
the city hall stands today.