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Saturday Night ... Sauna !

Finally the weekend has arrived and it is time to heat that sauna of yours! There is no better way to relax your body and mind than to throw some “leil” (means steam in Estonian, “Löyly” in Finnish) in a hot sauna either alone, with family or friends. As sauna culture has been a big part of growing up for us, we wanted to share our passion with you.

 

Löyly

Photo: Löyly Helsinki

 

Let’s start from the beginning

Historically in Estonia and Finland, saunas held a central role in the life of an individual. Every family had a sauna which was heated once a week, usually on a Saturday night. The very first ones did not have any chimneys, meaning that during the heating process the smoke was kept inside. Nowadays there are various types of saunas in use and smoke saunas (“savvusann” in Estonian,  “savusauna” in Finnish) are quite rare to find. There are still some enthusiasts and regions where the tradition has been kept alive. 

Read more here: 
Savusann
Finland Travel

 

Savusaun-Tõnu Runnel

Photo: Tõnu Runnel


Overall, sauna has been a place for physical and spiritual cleansing for centuries. Beyond being a place to wash yourself, sauna evolves different rituals - every time something ends it is celebrated with a night of sauna. Either a long working period, a season or different phases of life, our ancestors enjoyed a sauna. In the sauna, you have to trust yourself and say that “mis minekil, tuu minku; mis olõkil tuu olku; mis tulõkil tuu tulku” - what is going should go, what is coming should come (south-estonian dialect). Everybody knows that washing isn't the most important, but rather relaxing, socialising and having a good time in a good company. 

Learn more:

There are many great blogs and sites where to gain knowledge about the tradition, culture and benefits of saunas. Here are few we like:

Estonian Saunas 
Finnmark 
Sauna times
Sauna Region

 

Get inspired:

We have gathered some unique saunas for you to discover - from hut like iglusaunas and gondolas to public places where you can enjoy the benefits of heat. Happy discovering!

Saunagondel in Switzerland, HUUM

Saunagondel in Switzerland
Electrical heater by HUUM

 Löyly Helsinki

Löyly Helsinki

Löyly Helsinki - modern seaside sauna
Avanto Architects, Anu Puustinen and Ville Hara, Helsinki (FI) 

 

WA_Sauna

WA_Sauna in the middle of a a lake by goCstudio, Seattle, USA 
Photos: Kevin Scott

 

Iglucraft handcrafted sauna from natural materials, Estonia

 

* Text sources: a combination of wikipedia, mentioned blogs & our own experience. ;)