If you want to understand Finnish culture, sauna is where to start. Sauna is deep in finnish traditions and you can find it basically in every flat or house! Approximately there is over 2 million saunas in Finland for population of 5,3 million. Mostly saunas are heated electrically but the traditional way is heated by wood which you can find mostly from summer cottages.
So idea of getting naked and sitting in small room heated to 100 degrees can sound quite interesting, exotic, horrible, fun? But the feeling afterwards is great! And in summertime when you get fresh vihta (or vasta) in your hand – a bunch of birch branches which you tip in the water and gently whip yourself. It makes your circulation works better and the smell is awesome of the fresh birch. And in wintertime you can dip yourself into icy lake or roll in the snow.
Not enough warm in sauna? Just say löylyä! It means please throw more water on the stones. There are no rules how many times you can throw water on the stones. In Finland we have only few rules in sauna: stay as long as you feel comfortable and return to sauna as many times you wish. Sauna is a place to relax and relieve your stress.
And after the sauna enjoy a cold beer!
Have you ever tried sauna?